US House passes Biden’s social spending bill, sends it to Senate

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The US House of Representatives has narrowly passed President Joe Biden’s roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate bill, sending it to the Senate, where it faces changes.

The House passed the so-called “Build Back Better” bill by a vote of 220-213, after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday evening delivered a lengthy floor speech to delay the final vote.

The bill includes $555 billion in clean energy and climate investments, $400 billion in funding for child care and free pre-school, $200 billion in child tax and earned income tax credits, and $150 billion in home care for elderly and disabled Americans, Xinhua news agency reported.

“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 on Friday in a statement after the vote.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated on Thursday that the legislation would allocate $1.64 trillion in new federal spending over ten years. If the tax credits in the bill are added to the spending tally, the figure would jump to $2.4 trillion, well above Biden’s initial framework for a $1.75-trillion package.

The White House claimed that the framework would raise revenue of around $2 trillion over a decade to fully pay for the social spending plan by imposing new taxes on the largest corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

But the CBO estimated that the legislation would increase the deficit by $367 billion over ten years, not counting any additional revenue that may be generated by additional funding for tax enforcement.

–IANS

int/khz/