Sunday, October 2, 2022

By reviving Biden’s big bill, Democrats hope to regain momentum

WASHINGTON (AP) – Gaining momentum, Democratic leaders push President Joe Biden’s big domestic politics bill, with the House of Representatives expected to vote later this week and the Senate has pledged to follow before Christmas in hopes of strengthening the party’s position and results. … the main promise of the campaign.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday outlined a potential voting schedule for Biden’s $ 1.85 trillion social services and climate change package, while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said his House would vote next.

The president himself, speaking on the road in New Hampshire, predicted quick action after weeks of delays and a drop in polls.

“I am confident that the House will accept this law. And when he passes, he goes to the Senate. I think we’ll pass it within a week, ”Biden said at an event in Woodstock, advertising the infrastructure bill he just signed.

Shaking off partisan divisions, Democrats seem poised to take action, building on the perceived popularity of a smaller, $ 1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, as well as flashing warning signs of a potentially grim election year ahead.

House Democrats gathered privately at campaign headquarters on Tuesday and decided to hold up to 1,000 public events before the end of the year, joining the White House on their agenda to show voters what they hope to achieve by bypassing Biden’s larger plan. … health, childcare and climate change package.

Democratic leaders downplayed what had been weeks of party bickering between progressive and centrist lawmakers, which resulted in constant progress over the shape of the bill. The 2,135-page package is now in the spotlight, with final estimates from the Congressional Budget Office expected later this week, paving the way for a House vote.

“The process can be confusing,” said Rep. Hakim Jeffries, the faction chairman. “But the outcome of the Build Back Better Act will be huge for the American people.”

Completing the big Biden package would be a daunting task for Congress. Divisions remain large in the Senate, where one of the key Conservative Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, remains the main obstacle for his party – almost singlehandedly preventing the president from delivering on his key campaign promise.

Even if the House of Representatives can vote later this week, the timetable is getting crowded. The House of Representatives and the Senate are considering a slew of laws by the end of the year, including measures needed to fund the government and make it possible to continue borrowing to pay its bills.

But on Tuesday, Schumer insisted that once the House of Representatives approves the Biden bill, which is expected before lawmakers leave for Thanksgiving, the Senate will do so in December.

“Build Back Better” is very important to America, we think it is very popular with Americans, we aim to go through it before Christmas, “said Schumer.

Lawmakers seem to be looking to reshape the debate, hitting the road to impress voters with what the Biden package means for Americans in communities across the country – from savings on childcare and healthcare to the new jobs that climate change and other infrastructure investments.

Losing elections in Virginia earlier this month, along with a vigorous call for a party in New Jersey, confirmed what appears to be a poor outlook ahead of next year’s midterm elections, when Democrats’ narrow influence over the House and Senate is under threat. …

Republicans refuse to support Biden’s larger bill, leaving Democrats to pass it on their own, with only a few free votes in the House of Representatives and none in the 50-50 Senate.

Republican leaders warned on Tuesday that increased federal spending would worsen inflation, which has hit US households on higher prices for some commodities as consumers spend more freely and demand rises.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Biden’s bill “will only make, only make inflation worse.”

But for Democrats, inaction seems like the worst political option. They believe that increased government support for childcare, healthcare and home health care will help American families adjust to an economy that has changed during the COVID-19 crisis.

The prospects for passing Biden’s bill in the House of Representatives have been close before, but they have been dashed against the backdrop of intraparty feuds, when progressives pushed for action, but more conservative Democrats held back. The debate has linked the bill to a finer infrastructure, but now that Biden has signed into law, the focus is once again on his larger bill.

Key House centrists awaited a fiscal review from the Congressional Budget Office, which handed out a section by section a non-partisan assessment of the expected costs and the potential impact of the law on deficits. The CBO said it expects to submit its final reports by the end of the week.

Hoyer said the House of Representatives could vote as early as Thursday, although it could also vote on Friday or Saturday.

“I think if we get the information as expected, I don’t understand why we were unable to proceed this week,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., leader of the centrist legislature faction.


Associated Press authors Farnush Amiri, Alan Fram, and Alexandra Jaffe contributed to this report.

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