Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Build Back Better Act (BBB) greenlighting trillions of dollars in federal spending that is sure to supercharge inflation, discourage work in America, and shift more control over family caregiving choices to Washington.
The bill was passed 220-213 nearly along party lines. Not one conservative voted for it, but as my colleague, Carrie Sheffield, wrote today Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) was the sole Democrat to vote against it and specifically cited the tax provision benefitting wealthy households justifying his vote.
The vote was delayed a day thanks to a record-breaking over 8-hour speech by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who touched on everything from the Berlin Wall to his COVID booster shot. While the Left led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi is cheering, the passage of this massive bill is far from a done deal.
What’s in it?
In short, everything and the kitchen sink.
New entitlement programs and provisions that had reportedly been dropped made it back into the final bill.
Here are the toplines:
- Universal Pre-K for all three-and four-year-olds
- Child care subsidies
- A national paid family and medical leave plan
- Climate change subsidies
- Expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit
- Expansions in Medicaid and Medicare programs as well as Affordable Care Act subsidies
- New spending on affordable housing, higher education, and workforce development
- Immigration provisions
BBB breaks President Biden’s $0-cost promise
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its BBB cost analysis and contrary to what the Left has consistently maintained, it is NOT fully paid for.
While the bill would raise more than $1.2 trillion through increased taxes on corporations, higher-income households, and IRS crackdowns on tax cheats, the CBO projected that there would be a big budget shortfall. The BBB would add $160 billion to the national debt over the next decade.
What’s next in the process
The BBB bill heads over to the Senate for consideration and a vote. This bill is being advanced through the budget reconciliation process that only requires 50 votes. Every Republican is likely to vote no, so to pass every Democrat must approve it.
Two key moderate Democratic senators have already expressed concerns about what’s included in the bill or its economic impact. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia rightly expressed concern that this bill will fuel inflation, which is already at a 30-year high, so is Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
The Senate can revise the bill in coming weeks before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Grassley plans to put the bill for a vote. If the Senate makes changes, the bill goes back to the House for another vote. There are still opportunities for this legislation to be derailed.
It’s not just costly, it is destructive
The BBB’s price tag is massive, but the content of the bill and the impact it will have on the economy and households is what truly makes it disastrous.
As my colleagues have covered, the ideas may sound good but will lead to negative consequences for businesses, households, and families.