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Day 304

1/ The House passed Biden’s roughly $2 trillion social and climate spending package to “build back better.” The 220-213 vote came after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delayed the vote for more than eight hours with a meandering speech criticizing the bill and Biden’s policies. Centrist House Democrats had also demanded that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office release a full analysis of the legislation prior to voting. The CBO found that the package would add more than $367 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years. The White House, however, said that figure didn’t include revenue expected to be generated from beefing up tax-enforcement efforts at the IRS, which could capture roughly $400 billion in additional revenue. The package would provide universal pre-K for all children ages three and four, subsidize child care and expand family leave, cap certain drug costs, and expand financial aid for college. The bill would also set aside more than $550 billion to combat climate change, promote greener energy, and provide new incentives and tax credits for renewable energy and electric vehicle purchases. The legislation would also provide relief from deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants, provide hungry Americans with access to food, and promote affordable new housing nationwide. The measure now goes to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. “For the second time in just two weeks, the House of Representatives has moved on critical and consequential pieces of my legislative agenda,” Biden said in a statement, referring to the recently enacted $1 trillion infrastructure bill. “Now, the Build Back Better Act goes to the United States Senate, where I look forward to it passing as soon as possible so I can sign it into law.” If passed by the Senate, the legislation would be the most significant expansion of the social safety net by the government since the 1960s. In a floor speech before the vote, Nancy Pelosi said “with the passage of the Build Back Better Act, we, this Democratic Congress, are taking our place in the long and honorable heritage of our democracy with legislation that will be the pillar of health and financial security in America. It will be historic in forging landmark progress for our nation.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Politico / NPR / USA Today)

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