Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) snapped back at a member of Congress who laughed at her claim during her floor speech that President Joe Biden's multitrillion-dollar spending proposal would reduce the debt.
On Friday, Pelosi spoke in the House of Representatives, extolling the claimed benefits of the Democrats' $1.75 trillion spending proposal for Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda.
"It will be one of the most significant legislative undertakings that any of us have ever been part of," Pelosi said.
The bill, which is still under negotiation in the U.S. Senate, will expand the social safety net and enact several climate policies supported by progressives. Originally intended to be a $3.5 trillion bill that included free college tuition, paid family leave, expanding Medicare and Medicaid, and much more, Democrats were forced to compromise because moderate lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are concerned about rising economic inflation.
Despite cuts to the bill, Pelosi asserted Friday that it will be bigger and more impactful than the Affordable Care Act, the transformative health care law enacted under President Barack Obama.
"So if you're talking about how we want to have immediate and enduring difference for the workers and families, creating jobs, securing middle class tax cuts, lowering costs for families, and making the wealthiest pay their fair share, all the while contributing to reducing the national debt," Pelosi said.
She then stopped speaking as someone else in the House apparently let out a guffaw.
"Did I hear a laugh over there?" she asked.
"Did I hear a laugh from those who added $2 trillion in tax cuts for the richest people in America, 83% of it going to the top 1%?" she fired back.
"This is paid for and more than paid for," she claimed.
In reality, the funding for this $1.75 trillion bill is a point of contention in the negotiations. Some Democrats want to add a massive tax cut for the wealthy into the bill by changing the cap on state and local tax deductions. These so-called SALT tax deductions were capped at $10,000 by the 2017 tax reform law passed under President Donald Trump.
House Democrats put forward a proposal last week to increase the SALT cap to $72,500 through 2031, which would lower government revenues by an estimated $50 billion per year through 2025.
Ironically, Pelosi claimed that the "Build Back Better" bill would not increase the deficit at the same time Democrats are arguing for a tax cut for the rich that would not be paid for. And she called out a Republican for apparently laughing at that contradiction.
Isn't that funny?