Members of Congress in Washington and Idaho Vote Party Line on $ 2 trillion Build Back Better Act


Like nearly all congressional delegations, members of Congress from Idaho and Washington voted party-friendly on Friday for a roughly $ 2 trillion bill that would make fundamental changes to many social programs. and federal environmental.

Democrats hailed the proposal as a monumental change to make real progress on climate change, improve health care, and help middle-class families and the poor who have found the American dream further out of their reach over the years. decades.

Republicans called the bill nothing less than a socialist program that would drive up debt and fuel rising inflation and supply shortages – which are already causing problems for many Americans.

The vote, 220-213, was cast across full partisan lines, with the exception of Democratic Representative from Maine, Jared Golden, who voted no.

The plan, named the Build Back Better Act after President Joe Biden’s campaign pledge, will head to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. Moderate Democrats there, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, have raised several concerns and demanded changes.

Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray said in a Tweet after the vote that the Senate should vote on the bill “as soon as possible.”

“From the start, I was absolutely clear: we need both the bipartite infrastructure law and the #BuildBackBetter law to give families, workers and small businesses the opportunities they need to be successful. . “

Republican Spokane Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in a statement that spending under the bill would lead to inflation and other problems.

“Today, President Biden and the House Democrats passed a law that will fundamentally transform the United States of America – and not for the better,” said McMorris Rodgers. “This multibillion-dollar tax and spending madness is an unprecedented lurch to greater government control over our lives, which will burden our children with debt they will never be able to pay off.”

But Democratic Representative Kim Schrier, whose neighborhood stretches from Wenatchee to the suburbs of Seattle, celebrated her visit.

“This landmark bill will lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, put the United States on track to meet its climate goals, create millions of salaried jobs for families, and secure families the access to affordable and quality child care and pre-kindergarten, ”Schrier said in a statement.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, was instrumental in passing the bill as leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She backed a compromise between her party earlier this month that allowed the bipartisan infrastructure bill to pass while slowing the Build Back Better Act, allowing the Congressional Budget Office to complete its cost analysis of the bill. before a vote, a request among the moderates. In return, most moderates agreed to vote in favor of the bill.

{div class = “tweet-body js-tweet-body”} “This historic bill will bring real change for you, your family and communities across the country!” Jayapal tweeted after the vote.

The Congressional Budget Office’s analysis was released Thursday and determined that the bill would add $ 367 billion to the deficit over 10 years. Biden had claimed his plan would not increase the deficit, a promise that was seized by some Republicans. Democrats noted, however, that that amount would drop to $ 160 billion once a provision to strengthen tax law enforcement is considered, The New York Times reported.

“Our national debt has already exceeded $ 28 trillion – to put that number into perspective, it’s about ($ 230,000) per taxpayer. President Pelosi and other Democratic leaders might have ($ 230,000) lying around, but most people – the vast majority of the people I represent – don’t, ”the Republican representative from Idaho said, Mike Simpson, in a prepared statement.

A press release from Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, called the bill a “socialist spending spree.”

“The American people are already struggling to make ends meet with soaring inflation that has negatively impacted wage growth, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages. ‘work and the increase in gas prices that we experienced under the Biden administration, ”Newhouse said.

Republican Representative Russ Fulcher, who represents northern Idaho, has made several criticisms of the bill, including that it touches on many major topics at a time that should only be considered individually.

“Sent to the House without any Republican support, this legislation reflects the most extreme priorities of the House Democratic caucus and would bring our country closer to socialism. “

Some Democrats have backed earlier Democratic claims that the act would pay off. Representative Marilyn Strickland, D-Tacoma, called the bill “transformational” and said it would ease the housing, child care and health care crises facing Americans. {/ div}

“When we invest in women, families and caregivers, we propel an economic recovery that benefits us all,” said Strickland. “With the Build Back Better Act, Congress will deliver life-changing benefits for South Sound families and our country, all without adding to the national debt.”

Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, focused his response on Bill’s child care programs.

“The average annual cost of child care in Washington is over $ 13,400. The #BuildBackBetter law will extend access to more than 470,100 young Washingtonians and ensure that no family in Washington pays more than 7% of their income for child care, ”Kilmer said in a Tweet. “This is a BIG business for the people of our region. “

While the bill would provide significant assistance to poor and low-income families, Republicans noted that some provisions also benefit the wealthy. Republican Senator from Idaho, Mike Crapo, cited the work of the Joint Committee on Taxation which indicated that 90% of taxpayers earning between $ 500,000 and $ 1 million would receive tax benefits through the law.

“It’s not really a blanket tax cut for the middle class,” said Crapo, the top Republican on the Senate finance committee.

Despite some benefits for top earners, the Democratic proposal would be funded primarily, in part, by new taxes on the wealthy and corporate.

Bellevue Democratic Representative Adam Smith praised Pelosi for pushing the bill through the House despite a slight majority and major disagreement between moderates and liberals in his party.

“She has once again proven to be one of the most talented lawmakers and leaders in our history,” Smith tweeted. “No margin for error, but she delivered.”