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Joe Biden’s ambitious package will continue in the Senate after House of Representatives approved his social spending bill for two trillion dollars

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The US House of Representatives passed the two-trillion-dollar Build Back Better bill on Friday. Now President Joe Biden’s ambitious social spending package will continue in the Senate, where he faces an uncertain fate.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives was scheduled to pass the bill which would make extensive investments in early childhood education, public health care for the elderly and measures aimed at combating climate change on Thursday night.

But Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, invoked his privilege as House minority leader and delivered a multi-hour speech that delayed the vote. The entire Republican caucus was expected to vote against the social spending bill, arguing that the legislation would exacerbate inflation at a time when more Americans are concerned about rising prices.

Finally, the vote ended with 220 votes in favour and 213 against.

“Much has been said since the distinguished Democratic leaders spoke last night. Much has been said in this room, but the facts are these, “said the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, of California on Friday. ” Following President Biden’s vision, we have a bill that is historic, transformative, and bigger than anything we’ve ever done before,” he said.

The bill covers longtime Democrats’ priorities and expands on new benefits created in their COVID-19 relief bill passed earlier this year. The Build Back Better Act would fund universal preschool education, housing and childcare assistance, some expanded Medicare benefits and four weeks of paid family and medical leave, a provision that is in the Senate’s crosshairs. It would also expand the Affordable Care Act subsidies and the child tax allowance that grants families $ 3,600 per child under the age of 6 and $ 3,000 per child between the ages of 6 and 18.

Now, Biden needs the support of all 50 Democratic senators – and Vice President Kamala Harris’ runoff vote – to pass the bill without the help of Republicans through a legislative process called reconciliation that avoids filibustering.

 

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