House Dems Pass Major Social Spending and Climate Bill

Joe Biden's social spending bill approved by House Dems

House Democrats secured a huge win for the party before the Thanksgiving holiday on Friday, passing their massive social spending and climate proposal 220-213, giving President Biden a boost at a challenging time for his government, The Hill reports.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who had hijacked the floor Thursday night for more than eight hours with an agitated, meandering speech against legislation that he feared would throw the country into an economic tailspin, prompted the delay.

With McCarthy unwilling to give up the floor, Democratic leaders canceled their Thursday night vote, called a meeting on Friday morning, and approved the over $2 trillion package on a near party-line vote. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democratic moderate from Maine, was the lone member of Congress to vote against the social spending bill, supporting every Republican.

Despite a last-minute cost estimate suggesting the plan would add nearly $160 billion to the deficit over the next ten years, the law needed the backing of a majority of Golden’s moderate peers, who are concerned about the country’s mounting debt.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, issued Thursday evening, contradicted Biden’s claim that the bill would be completely funded. It’s created some disagreement – and a lot of misunderstanding — about how much the law would cost in total.

According to the CBO, the plan will provide $1.64 trillion in increased government expenditure over the next ten years. The budget office, unlike the White House, does not include the tax credits in the top-line figure. When those credits are added to the CBO’s expenditure estimate, the total rises to $2.4 trillion, much beyond Biden’s initial $1.75 trillion estimates.

The White House swiftly refuted the CBO’s calculations, claiming that the agency had understated additional money from greater IRS enforcement. The administration also dispatched key advisers, including Biden’s chief economic advisor, Brian Deese, to meet with the moderate dissenters in an attempt to secure their support.

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