Biden social and climate bill clears procedural vote in House, where it still awaits final approval

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  • The House of Representatives passed a key procedural vote for the Build Back Better Act, President Joe Biden’s signature social safety net and eventual passage of the climate change bill.
  • The original plan to pass the final bill Friday fell apart when it became clear a small group of House Moderates would not vote for the bill until they see an economic analysis from the CBO.
  • The vote came soon after the House passed a $1 trillion, Senate-approved bipartisan infrastructure bill late Friday, which will now go to Biden’s desk.

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed a crucial procedural vote Saturday morning for the Build Back Better Act, President Joe Biden’s signature social safety net and final passage of a climate change bill.

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The party-line vote came soon after the House passed a $1 trillion, Senate-approved bipartisan infrastructure bill late Friday, which will now go to Biden’s desk.

The procedural vote on big social services and the climate plan represented only partial victories for Democratic leaders in the White House and the House, who expected Friday to pass both the procedural vote and the final bill.

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Still, the move showed for the first time that the Democratic caucuses could unite behind a vote to advance the Build Back Better legislation, even if they could not come together to vote to pass the final bill.

“The Build Back Better Act will be an investment from generation to generation in our people,” Biden said in a statement lauding the passage of the infrastructure plan and the successful procedural vote for his social and climate plan.

The final passage plan fell through late Friday morning, when it became clear a small group of House Moderates would not vote for the bill until they saw an economic analysis from the Congressional Budget Office of the bill’s long-term effects on the budget deficit. , known as the CBO score.

Even the procedural vote seemed dicey for several hours on Friday afternoon, when progressives pitched for passing the final version of a fellow infrastructure bill in favor of moderates, along with Build Back Better. The final version of the Act was passed without passing.

The impasse was only resolved when Biden stepped in personally and struck a deal. The Moderates agreed to issue a formal pledge to vote for the Social Spending Bill, provided CBO scores showed it would not increase the budget deficit.

The CBO is unlikely to have that report ready for several days, and Congress will be in recess next week. Initially, it appeared that the House would be satisfied with a report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Moderate Taxation.

That report found that the $1.75 trillion social spending bill would not add to the federal deficit in the long run. But the report did not take into account several key parts of the bill, which were still being negotiated earlier this week, when analyzed.

The procedural vote sets the terms of the final vote, such as how much time each party gets to debate the bill on the floor of the House, and whether an amendment can be introduced. It also lays out what will be included in the bill for a formal vote later this month.

What’s in the bill:

  • Universal preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds. In addition to helping millions of children better prepare for school, this benefit will enable parents of young children to return to the workforce earlier.
  • Limiting childcare costs to 7% of income for parents earning up to 250% of the state’s median income.
  • 4 weeks of federal paid parental, sick or caregiver leave.
  • One year of the Extended Child Tax Credit. Over the past year, these credits have lifted families with more than three million children out of poverty, and cut total child poverty in America by 25%.
  • Expanded pandemic-era Affordable Care Act subsidies. So far this year, these subsidies have increased ACA enrollment by more than 2 million.
  • New hearing benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, including coverage for a new hearing aid every five years.
  • Under Medicare, the cost of insulin is capped at $35 per month, and the cost of out-of-pocket prescription drugs is $2,000 per year.
  • $500 billion to combat climate change through massive clean energy tax credits. This represents the largest ever federal investment in clean energy.
  • Raising state and local tax deduction limits from $10,000 to $80,000.

On Thursday and early Friday, it appeared as though the entire bill would pass, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders negotiated agreements with a handful of holdouts.

These included a small group of Democrats who insisted on immigration language in the bill, a group of Northeast lawmakers who opposed the lower limit of SALT cuts, and a third bloc of moderates, who sought to negotiate drug prices. refused to support the broadening of Medicare rights. .

In every case a compromise was reached between the leaders and the members. But ultimately, the lack of a CBO score was unacceptable to a half-dozen moderates.

CNBC Politics

Read more about CNBC’s politics coverage:

  • Trump aides Michael Flynn, Jason Miller, John Eastman summoned in Jan. 6 House investigation
  • As the bipartisan infrastructure bill passes, here’s what lies ahead for Biden’s economic plans
  • White House tells businesses to go ahead with vaccine mandate despite court order stay

The House will be on holiday next week, returning the week of November 13. If the CBO scores by then, it is possible that the House may proceed immediately to a final vote on the bill.

Once the final bill is approved by the House, the Build Back Better Act goes to the Senate, where it is likely to be amended. There, two conservative Democrats have a major influence on what happens next: key swing vote sense. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinema of Arizona.

Munchkin has already said that he opposes the inclusion of paid leave in the bill. Meanwhile, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, has said he opposes increasing the SALT cap cut, arguing that it favors the wealthiest taxpayers and costs the government billions of dollars. .

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he expects the Senate to pass its version of the Build Back Better Act after the House and before Thanksgiving.

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