This week: Democrats aim to unlock Biden economic, infrastructure package
House Democrat says she won't support reconciliation bill 'at this early stage'
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) voted against advancing the Democrats' multi-trillion dollar reconciliation package from a key committee on Wednesday because of spending and tax provisions in the legislation that give her "pause."
Murphy was the only Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee to break from her party and vote not to advance provisions of the Democrats' $3.5 trillion package, which call for increasing taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations to help fund the investments in the bill.
Murphy, in a statement explaining her vote, said some of the spending and tax provisions in the legislation "give me pause," and as a result she could not "vote for the bill at this early stage."
She did, however, express optimism that the final version of the package "will be appropriately targeted and fiscally responsible-paid for by tax provisions that promote fairness but do not hurt working families."
The congresswoman also urged Democrats from both chambers to work together "to get this bill to a place where it can pass both chambers and be signed into law by President Biden."
"Every moment we spend debating provisions that will never become law is a moment wasted and will delay much-needed assistance to the American people," she added.
The House Ways and Means Committee ultimately voted to advance the provisions 24 to 19. All Republicans on the panel voted against the measure.
Murphy's no vote comes after she signaled last week that she had concerns with the legislative process of considering the package. She specifically cited worries with how the congressional panel only released some of the proposals it was set to consider, and that the lawmakers have not yet reviewed the Congressional Budget Office scores for a number of the plans.
The vote wrapped up a days-long markup of the committee's part of the massive package, which Democrats are looking to pass through budget reconciliation to prevent a Republican filibuster since using that process only requires a simple majority for passage.
The legislation includes a number of key Democratic priorities, including investments in climate change, education and public housing.
Getting the package over the finish line, however, is already proving to be a difficult task. Senate Democrats have to remain banded together in the evenly divided upper chamber, but some moderates - namely Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). - are raising concerns with the bill's price tag.
The House Budget Committee will now markup the section of the bill that Ways and Means approved, in addition to other portions that were written by other House panels.
House leadership is hoping to pass the package before the end of the month, but more changes are expected as party leaders work to ease concerns among both moderates and progressives.