clearn.png
Wednesday January 19th, 2022 9:27PM

House OKs $2T social, climate bill in Biden win; Senate next

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fractious House handed President Joe Biden a marquee victory Friday by approving a roughly $2 trillion social and environment bill, as Democrats cast aside disputes that for months had stalled the measure and hampered efforts to sell their priorities to voters.

Lawmakers approved the legislation 220-213 as every Democrat but one backed it, overcoming unanimous Republican opposition. The measure now heads to the Senate, where changes are certain and disputes between cost-conscious Democratic moderates and progressives who seek bold policy changes will flare anew.

For the moment, Democrats were happy to shake off a dispiriting period of off-year election setbacks, tumbling Biden poll numbers and public disgruntlement over inflation, stalled supply chains and the pandemic. All that and the party's nasty internal bickering have left voters with little idea of how the legislation might help them, polls have shown.

“Above all, it puts us on the path to build our economy back better than before by rebuilding the backbone of America: working people and the middle class,” Biden said in a statement.

He told reporters at the White House he expected the legislation to “take awhile" to move through the Senate but declared, “I will sign it. Period.”

The legislation, among the most expensive in years, is remarkable for its reach. It rewrites tax, health care, environment, education, housing and other policies, shoring up low- and middle-income families, helping the elderly and combating climate change.

Most of it would be paid for with tax boosts on the country's highest earners, biggest corporations and companies doing business abroad. That includes new surtaxes on people earning over $10 million annually and a corporate minimum tax.

Because of its size, scope and status as a symbol of what Democrats stand for, each party thinks the package will help in next year's midterm elections, when Republicans have a solid chance at capturing House and Senate control.

“Hey, hey, goodbye,” GOP lawmakers sang, taunting Democrats during the vote. Republicans call the measure a waste of money that will worsen budget deficits, overheat an inflation-battered economy and show voters that Democrats can’t resist ever-larger government.

Democrats see the 2,100-page legislation as overdue and long-lasting help for a vast swath of the nation.

The bill “will be the pillar of health and financial security in America,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “If you are a parent, a senior, a child, a worker, if you are an American, this bill is for you.”

“Build Back Better,” chanted Democrats, embracing and jumping with glee at the front of the chamber as the roll call wound down. That's the name Biden has given the bill — a companion piece to his other domestic priority, the bipartisan $1 trillion package of broadband, road and other infrastructure projects he signed into law this week.

In Congress' latest dose of partisan bitterness, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., had delayed the latest bill's expected approval on Thursday when he unleashed an eight hour 32 minute diatribe against the legislation, the president and Democrats.

McCarthy glared as Democrats booed and groaned during what became the longest speech in House history, remarks that included personal insults aimed at Pelosi. As minority leader in 2018, she held the previous record, speaking for eight hours and seven minutes about immigration.

“I don’t know if it’s a farewell tour,” McCarthy said of recent trips to Europe by Pelosi, who some think may be serving her last term in Congress. “If it is, I want a T-shirt.”

Most of the bill's costs come from mountains of new spending, though there are also hundreds of billions in tax credits for encouraging certain goals.

It has over $500 billion for clean energy projects plus tax incentives for utilities turning to less polluting fuels and people buying electric vehicles. There's money for child care, job training, housing, free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, in-home care for seniors and new hearing benefits for Medicare recipients.

People, and the government, too, would save money from new curbs on prescription drug prices, though the provisions are modest compared to tougher requirements most Democrats preferred. There would be extended tax credits for families with children, for some low-earning workers and for people purchasing private health coverage.

In language that helped win support from lawmakers from high-cost coastal states, the bill would increase federal deductions people can take for state and local taxes. The provision, which would largely benefit affluent earners, would cost above $220 billion over the next five years, making it one of the legislation’s costliest programs.

The measure would also finance a new requirement for four weeks of paid family leave and create temporary work permits so millions of immigrants could remain in the U.S. up to a decade. Both face an uncertain fate in the Senate.

That chamber's 50-50 split plus solid GOP opposition gives every Democrat veto power. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who helped slash the bill's 10-year cost from its earlier $3.5 trillion, has opposed the family leave provision. And the Senate parliamentarian enforces rules that make it hard to include policy-heavy provisions like major immigration law changes.

The bill would worsen projected budget deficits, already huge, by $160 billion over the coming decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated. That would be higher except for $207 billion in projected extra tax collections by bolstering IRS spending for audits, largely of the rich.

Both parties worry about deficits selectively. Republicans passed tax cuts in 2017 that worsened red ink by $1.9 trillion, while Democrats enacted a COVID-19 relief bill this year with that same price tag.

Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, one of Congress' more conservative Democrats, was the only no vote from his party.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan organization favoring fiscal constraint, estimated the bill would cost nearly $5 trillion if Democrats hadn’t made some provisions temporary to be more affordable. For instance, tax credits for children are extended for just one year, even though Democrats would make them permanent if they could.

___

AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro and AP writer Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.

___

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
White Missouri officer convicted in Black man’s 2019 death
A judge has convicted a white Kansas City police officer of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the fatal shooting of a Black man in a case in which prosecutors said police planted evidence
4:09PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Jury finds Rittenhouse not guilty in Kenosha shootings
Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all charges after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice
4:03PM ( 12 minutes ago )
House OKs $2T social, climate bill in Biden win; Senate next
The House has handed President Joe Biden a marquee victory
3:53PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Rare first printing of US Constitution sells for record $43M
A rare first printing of the U.S. Constitution has sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $43.2 million, a record price for a document or book sold at auction
3:20PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Afghans anxious over delays: ‘We're worried for their lives'
Thousands of Afghans have applied for temporary admission into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons, but few have been approved since the Taliban recaptured control of their homeland
3:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
California wildfires torch thousands of giant sequoia trees
Sequoia National Park says lightning-sparked wildfires in the past two years have killed a minimum of nearly 10,000 giant sequoia trees in California
3:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Thousands of giant sequoias killed in California wildfires
Sequoia National Park says lightning-sparked wildfires in the past two years have killed a minimum of nearly 10,000 giant sequoia trees in California
2:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Facing surge, Austria will mandate COVID-19 shots, lock down
Austria has announced a national lockdown and a plan to mandate vaccinations as coronavirus infections hit a record high
2:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Dems' sweeping social, climate bill passes divided House
A sharply divided House has approved the Democrats’ sweeping social and environment bill, a big victory for President Joe Biden
2:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Top General short headlines
Justices could rule on Texas abortion ban as soon as Monday
The Supreme Court could rule as soon as Monday on Texas’ ban on abortion after roughly six weeks
3:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
Maine Democrat stands alone, again, in opposing Biden bill
Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine is bucking his party again, this time voting against an expansive social and environment bill
3:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden undergoes routine colonoscopy, Harris briefly in power
The White House says President Joe Biden transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris for one hour and 25 minutes while under anesthesia during a routine colonoscopy
3:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
House moves toward OK of Dems' sweeping social, climate bill
Democrats have brushed aside monthslong divisions and are approaching House passage of their expansive social and environment bill
8:03AM ( 8 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Why did Modi repeal India farm laws after a year?
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a surprise announcement that he will withdraw agriculture laws that triggered a year of farmer protests, in what is seen as a major climbdown by his government
6:35AM ( 9 hours ago )
Modi vows to repeal India farm laws after prolonged protests
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his government will withdraw the controversial agriculture laws that prompted yearlong protests from tens of thousands of farmers and posed a significant political challenge to his administration
5:46AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
US rests its case against fallen tech star Elizabeth Holmes
The U.S. government rested its case in the trial of fallen Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes on Friday, after spending more than two months trying to prove she bamboozled investors, patients and business partners into believing that her startup Theranos was about to reshape health care by using just a few drops for blood for tests that usually require vials of the stuff
3:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
In uncertain times, Chileans vote with ballots and wallets
Chileans are voting for president Sunday with a mix of dread, optimism and above all uncertainty about what lies ahead after a wave of social and political unrest that includes the current effort to rewrite the constitution
1:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
Kyle Rittenhouse jury returns for 4th day of deliberations
The jury at Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial has returned for a fourth day of deliberations, after a quiet day behind closed doors that ended with one juror asking if she could take home the jury instructions
11:55AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Stocks open mostly lower, but tech companies edge higher
Stocks are off to a mostly lower start on Wall Street Friday, though gains for some big technology companies are sending the Nasdaq a bit higher
9:44AM ( 6 hours ago )
Europe's central banker: Not adding to pinch with rate hike
The head of the European Central Bank is doubling down on the message that it's no time to raise interest rates
9:08AM ( 7 hours ago )
Global shares press higher after Wall St record
Global stock markets are mostly higher after Wall Street hit a record and Japan's Cabinet approved a record stimulus package worth nearly a half-billion dollars
5:00AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
White Missouri officer convicted in Black man’s 2019 death
A judge has convicted a white Kansas City police officer of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the fatal shooting of a Black man in a case in which prosecutors said police planted evidence
4:09PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Jury finds Rittenhouse not guilty in Kenosha shootings
Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all charges after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice
4:03PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Stocks wobble as Wall Street heads for a mixed weekly finish
Stocks wobbled in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday and major indexes were on track for a mixed finish to a choppy week
3:44PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Wife of jailed ex-Interpol chief says friend risks same fate
The wife of the former Interpol president who disappeared in Beijing in 2018 and was imprisoned says she fears a similar fate could await China’s latest candidate for a role with the international police body
3:39PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Philadelphia hosts Red Bulls in rivalry to open MLS playoffs
The MLS Cup playoffs open Saturday after a break for international play
3:38PM ( 42 minutes ago )