Democrats brushed aside months-long divisions and pushed their radical socialist spending bill through a sharply divided House on Friday, as President Joe Biden and his party moved closer to capitalizing on their authoritarian stranglehold of government by funneling its resources toward their top domestic priorities.
The House approved the legislation by a near party-line 220-213 vote, sending the measure to a Senate where cost-cutting demands by moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and that chamber’s strict rules seem certain to force significant changes.
That will prompt fresh disputes between vulnerable party centrists and progressives that will likely take weeks to resolve.
Even so, House passage marked a watershed for a measure remarkable for the breadth and depth of the changes it would make in federal policies.
Wrapped into one bill are far-reaching changes in taxation, health care, energy, climate change, family services, education and housing.
Critics note that the bill will flood new currency into an already overwhelmed economy, further devaluing the dollar even as inflation hits its highest level in three decades.
I voted NO on Brandon’s Busted Budget!
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) November 19, 2021
BBB > $0️⃣ https://t.co/fRUY3ClfXv
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) November 19, 2021
Nonetheless, Biden, after undergoing a colonoscopy Friday morning, hailed the vote as “another giant step forward” for the country.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Democrats gathered in front of the chamber, many arm in arm, as the final roll call ticked down. “Build Back Better,” many chanted, using Biden’s name for the measure. Their cheering grew louder as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled the vote to a close.
Republicans had little to celebrate, but showed some feistiness. “Good luck in the Senate,” taunted Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida.
The House vote also gave Biden a momentary taste of victory, and probably relief, during perhaps the rockiest period of his presidency.
He’s been battered by falling approval in polls, reflecting voters’ concerns over inflation, gridlocked supply chains and the persistent coronavirus pandemic, leaving Democrats worried that their legislative efforts are not breaking through to voters.
“If you are a parent, a senior, a child, a worker, if you’re an American, this bill’s for you,” said Pelosi, underscoring Democrats’ efforts to impress the public.
Maine Rep. Jared Golden was the only Democrat to vote no.