Dems scramble on $1.75T bill ahead of Thanksgiving deadline



House Democratic leaders set an aggressive schedule this week for President Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending bill, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said must be passed if they want to go home for Thanksgiving.

The current plan is for debate on the measure to begin Wednesday, with a vote on passage expected sometime between Thursday and Saturday.

One source inside the House Democratic Caucus’ Tuesday meeting told The Post that Pelosi (D-Calif.) had vowed that members would not leave Washington until the Build Back Better bill is passed.

While moderate Democrats have asserted they will not support the measure without a full report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on how the bill provisions are paid for and projections on the impact of the spending on inflation, leaders are hoping already-released scoring from the nonpartisan agency would be enough to rally centrists around the measure.

Biden at a press conference outside
Debate on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan is set to begin Wednesday.

A report on the full bill is not expected until Friday.

Democrats have pushed back the timeline for the bill’s passage multiple times as the party factions struggle to come to a consensus on what the whole party could support. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters that he believed work on the bill would be completed before the end of the week. 

“I hope to vote on it as soon as Thursday, but perhaps on Friday. We’re going to get it done this week,” he told reporters Tuesday, adding that floor activity could spill into Saturday. 

One Democratic source told The Post they think it probable that members’ work weeks will slip into the weekend, adding it could be a “Groundhog Day”-like scenario in which a final vote gets pushed back as details change and are ironed out.

Nancy Pelosi addressing a crowd.
Even if the bill is passed in the House, it will likely be amended or struck down by the Senate. Here, Nancy Pelosi addresses the crowd at a Build Back Better bill rally on Nov. 16.

The CBO score is expected to show that stepped-up IRS enforcement of tax laws would yield significantly less than the $400 billion in revenue projected by the White House estimates. Biden and other administration officials have insisted that the social spending bill is fully paid for, with the president himself saying the measure costs “zero dollars.”

Should the bill pass the House, it is expected to be amended or shot down in the Senate, with moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) sounding alarm bells over multiple provisions and its potential impact on inflation.

Manchin discussed the impact of price increases on his constituents Tuesday, telling CNN that he is “very much concerned.

“Inflation has hit them extremely hard. … I hear it when I go to the grocery story … They say, ‘Are you as mad as I am?’” Manchin said. “And I say, ‘Absolutely.’”

Last week, the Labor Department announced that its October Consumer Price Index had jumped 6.2 percent over the previous year, the biggest 12-month increase since 1990.


Source link