Speaker Nancy Pelosi smiled as the House of Representatives passed President Biden’s Build Back Better bill today, on a partisan vote of 220 to 213.
The bill includes universal pre-K, expanded Medicare access to hearing aids, four weeks of paid family and medical leave, child care cost reductions and a number of provisions to combat climate change.
The legislation could prove as transformative as any since the Great Society and War on Poverty in the 1960s, especially for young families and older Americans.
It offers universal prekindergarten, generous subsidies for child care that extend well into the middle class, expanded financial aid for college, hundreds of billions of dollars in housing support, home and community care for older Americans, a new hearing benefit for Medicare and price controls for prescription drugs.
More than half a trillion dollars would go toward shifting the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and electric cars, the largest investment ever to slow the warming of the planet.
The package would largely be paid for with tax increases on high earners and corporations, estimated to bring in nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
One Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden, defected and voted with the Republicans.
When the bill got passed the 218 threshold, meaning it would pass, chants of ‘Build Back Better’ broke out.
Democratic members yelled ‘Nancy, Nancy, Nancy,’ as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was leaving the dais after chairing the final count.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden was able to call Pelosi this morning to congratulate her on the bill’s passage.
And White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates trolled Republicans by tweeting, ‘Let’s go BBBrandon!!!’ which has become code on the right for ‘f**k Joe Biden.’
The Build Back Better bill now heads to the Senate.
The vote had been delayed after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke on the House floor for an astonishing eight hours and 32 minutes, finishing up his address just after 5 a.m. Friday.
He and Republican leaders called it the ‘most radical piece of legislation in our nation’s history’ after it passed, arguing it was ill-timed due to rising inflation and gas prices.
Former President Trump sent out an angry statement blaming the Democrats’ success on ‘Old Broken Crow’ Mitch McConnell.
He told Senate Republicans that they shouldn’t agree to lift the debt ceiling in mid-December to trip of Democratic effots in the upper chamber.
‘If they don’t drop this horrendous, Communistic style Bill that will be ruinous to all we stand for as a Country, we should not approve a Debt Ceiling increase,’ Trump said.
Pelosi had trolled McCarthy when she spoke on the floor Friday morning once the Democrats resumed the session.
‘With confidence in the vision of President Biden and associating myself with the inspiring and informative comments of the cistinguished Chairman, Mr. Neal, with our distinguished Democratic leader, Mr. Hoyer, the Democratic Whip last evening, and with respect for those who work in this capitol, and as a courtesy to my colleagues, I will be brief,’ Pelosi said to laughs.
It is a key piece of Biden’s domestic policy agenda, paired with a $1 trillion infrastructure package that the president signed into law this week.
Its path to Friday’s vote was arduous, from midsummer to deep autumn, with negotiations pitting liberal lawmakers against centrists and House Democrats against senators.
The vote showed remarkable Democratic unity, given the struggle to get to it.