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The House of Representatives on Friday passed President Joe Biden's trimmed-down but still behemoth $1.75 trillion social and climate spending package, but now the bill is headed for the Senate, where its fate is less certain.
Anticipated opposition in the upper chamber has prompted a warning from left-leaning media outlet CNN that it's "too soon for Democrats to declare victory as Build Back Better bill moves forward."
What are the details?
The bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, was narrowly approved by House lawmakers in a 220-213 largely party-line vote, CNBC reported. Only one moderate Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, voted against the bill.
The BBB Act will fund many of the president's key progressive initiatives, including the installment of universal pre-K, Medicare expansion, green energy policies, and expanded child tax credits. The Biden administration's original proposals for the spending package totaled between $3 trillion and $3.5 trillion.
Despite the setbacks — which included cutting the measure in half and a delayed vote due to House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy's eight-and-a-half-hour filibuster speech — Democrats celebrated the bill's passage as a transformative achievement.
"Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act to take another giant step forward in carrying out my economic plan to create jobs, reduce costs, make our country more competitive, and give working people and the middle class a fighting chance," Biden said in a statement after the bill's passage.
The president once again claimed that the measure is "fully paid for" in spite of the Congressional Budget Office's score, which suggests that the plan will add $367 billion to the deficit over 10 years from 2021 until 2031.
It should be noted, too, that the CBO's score is actually generous to the administration. TheBlaze has previously reported that a separate analysis of the bill suggests its cost could be more than twice as high as what the White House claims.
Nevertheless, Biden went on to guarantee that the bill "will not add to inflationary pressures" but instead "will boost the capacity of our economy and reduce costs for millions of families."
Now that the bill has passed the Democrat-controlled House, it will move on to the Senate, where stiffer opposition and calls for significant revision are anticipated.
Democrats narrowly control the Senate, but only with the tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, which means that every single Democratic senator will need to be in favor of the bill for it to pass.
That outcome is considered somewhat shaky given the opposition that the bill has already faced from moderate Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.).
Manchin has said that the bill as written would end up "hurting" American families already under pressure from soaring inflation and that "the real cost" of the bill is being masked by "shell games and budget gimmicks."
His opposition has been slammed by progressives as "anti-Black, anti-child, anti-woman, and anti-immigrant." But Manchin's constituents appear to be on his side, increasing the chances that he may stand firm and sink the bill.
In its report on the House passage, CNN notes the "triumph is tempered by new questions over whether the $1.9 trillion measure can survive the Senate and then offer the short-term jolt of political energy Biden's wobbling presidency needs."
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