House Passes Reconciliation Bill With Paid Leave, Universal Pre-K

After negotiations that lasted for much of the year, the House approved the Build Back Better Act Friday morning. The Senate will now consider the bill. It includes measures such as expanding Medicare to include hearing, allowing Medicare the ability to negotiate the price of certain prescription drugs, funding for combating the climate crisis, and free pre-kindergarten to all.

All Republicans voted no as the bill passed 220-213. Only one Democratic member ended up voting “no” on the bill — Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), who opposed the bill due to conservative Democrats’ inclusion of the loosening of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap, which would These benefits are primarily for the wealthy.

Democrats were able to bring the bill to a vote after conservative Democrats had insisted that the vote wait until the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) gave a score on the bill’s costs and offsets.

CBO stated Thursday that the bill would run to $1.7 trillion in the next ten-years. The bill would cost $1.7 trillion if it included funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). decrease the deficitBy $127 billion by 2031 This news clearly pleased the House’s so-called deficit hawks, like Representatives Josh Gottheimer and Stephanie Murphy (D.Florida), who had been withholding their votesThe CBO score was not released until that point.

Kevin McCarthy (R-California), Minority Leader, spoke for almost the entire night in an attempt to delay the bill. starting his speech atIt began at about 8:30 PM ET and ends around 5:00 AM. His eight-and-a-half-hour speech was the longest continuous speech in the House since at least 1909, and was about a variety of issues unrelated to the reconciliation bill, including his grievances with Democrats, the House’s mask mandate, HitlerHis friendship with Elon MuskThe McDonald’s dollar menuMore. The speech was widely mockedBy Democrats

The bill was passed by progressive lawmakers on Friday. “We’re now closer than ever to delivering real, meaningful change to the American people,” wrote the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Twitter.

The group highlighted provisions like affordable housing investments, ensuring that child care won’t cost a family more than 7 percent of their income and four weeks of paid family and medical leave. They also highlighted the bill’s proposal to form a Civilian Climate CorpsPrescription drug plans that allow seniors to pay less out-of-pocket for drugs.

As the caucus admitted, the bill still doesn’t measure up to what many progressive lawmakers had originally envisioned for the bill. The bill is still being discussed in the Senate. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), expressed optimism that it could improve upon.

“The Senate has an opportunity to make this a truly historic piece of legislation. We will listen to the demands of the American people and strengthen the Build Back Better Act,” he saidFriday He stated that the Senate must include tax hikes on the wealthy, and implement a stronger prescription drug pricing planEnsure that Medicare covers hearing, vision, and dental care. He also highlighted the urgency of the bill to address the “existential threat” of the climate crisis, which the bill in its current form Is weak on.

However, Sanders will likely face resistance — as he has for months now –from conservative Democrats Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) who, despite having gotten the bill cut in half from its original $3.5 trillion price tag, are still demanding that critical provisions be cut from the bill.

Coal baronManchin, for instance has been against child care funding programs and paid leave. especially concerned aboutThe bill’s price, even after it was significantly reduced. Although he has yet to say anything about the CBO score, he has complained in recent weeks about the bill’s potential to add to the deficit, while remaining mum about the CBO estimate that the He negotiated the infrastructure bill isn’t fully paid for.