The Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers were optimistic on Sunday after the House passed their social spending and climate package late last week, expressing confidence that the Build Back Better Act will pass the Senate and ultimately land on President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE’s desk.
The House passed the Democrats’ massive social spending and climate plan Friday morning in a 220-213 vote, capping off months of negotiations that were marked by internal party clashes and deliberations between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The bill — which includes investments in education, health care and combating climate change — now heads to the Senate, where lawmakers are expected to begin consideration after the Thanksgiving break.
Brian DeeseBrian DeeseBiden says 'consumer spending has recovered' to pre-pandemic levels The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Arbery case, Biden spending bill each test views of justice Democrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate MORE, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, expressed confidence on Sunday that the mammoth legislation will pass the upper chamber, contending that after months of negotiations, the White House has "a good understanding of where the consensus lies."
“I expected that as we move to the Senate we'll have a lot of momentum, we'll work as the congressional process does, we'll work to get a bill through the Senate. We need 50 votes, and then it will go back to the House and to the president's desk,” Deese told “Fox News Sunday” guest host Bret Baier.
The legislation, however, will likely undergo a number of changes in the Senate before a vote is scheduled. Adjustments are expected to be made after the Senate parliamentarian completes a review of the legislation and in response to opposition from some senators to specific provisions in the bill.
Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Health Care — Biden mandate faces Dem resistance White House: Biden would veto GOP resolution to nix vaccine mandate Second Senate Democrat to back vote against Biden vaccine mandate MORE (D-Mont.) recognized the reality that the bill will likely see a number of changes as it makes it way through the chamber but said that the “reasonable people” in the caucus “can come up with a bill that is a very, very good bill that works for states like Montana and other states in the area.”
He emphasized that compromise will be needed to send the package to Biden’s desk, especially when it comes to provisions related to affordable housing, employment, and lowering prescription drug costs and health care costs.
“We don't all see the world the same way, so let's negotiate, and let's come up with a bill that lowers costs for families and cuts taxes and gets things done to help move this economy forward so we can stay the premier power in the world,” Tester told host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddGOP Sen. Braun says abortion laws should be left up to states Klobuchar says 'best way' to protect abortion rights is to codify Roe v. Wade into law NIH director says it's 'possible' omicron will not be last emerging variant MORE on NBC's "Meet the Press."
One lawmaker who will likely force a change to the package is Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin warns about inflation as Democrats pursue Biden spending bill Overnight Health Care — Biden mandate faces Dem resistance Exporting gas means higher monthly energy bills for American families MORE (D-W.Va.), who has previously said he is against including paid leave in the spending bill, arguing that it should be considered outside reconciliation, which is the legislative process Democrats are using that allows the 50-50 Senate to pass the bill through a simple majority without GOP support.
Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandLawmakers reach compromise on annual defense policy bill Ex-officials voice deep concerns over new Pentagon UFO unit Paid leave advocates ramping up the pressure on Manchin and Schumer MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday, however, said Manchin “has come a long way on paid leave,” specifically showing more of an interest in learning about the proposal.
The New York Democrat told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s "Face the Nation" that she is optimistic she can continue talking to Manchin about ways to keep the provision in the spending package.
Republicans, however, have an entirely different outlook. While the GOP is not involved in the legislative process for the Build Back Better Act because of budget reconciliation, a number of top Republicans are knocking the bill for its hefty price tag and proposals that would raise taxes to generate funding for the investments.
The legislation proposes implementing a minimum 15 percent tax rate on corporations that report more than $1 billion in profits as one way the party is planning to finance the bill's investments. Biden has consistently said the bill will be fully paid for, though a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office paints a different picture.
The congressional scorekeeper revealed in an assessment on Thursday that when including the bill's tax credits in the top-line number, the price tag jumps to roughly $2.4 million, which is significantly higher than the administration’s initial $1.75 trillion framework.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris SununuChris SununuJuan Williams: GOP infighting is a gift for Democrats Biden plan for free at-home tests faces hurdles Chris Pappas launches reelection bid in New Hampshire MORE (R) on Sunday dismissed the claim by Democrats that the package will be fully paid for, telling co-host Dana BashDana BashDemocratic caucus chairs call for Boebert committee assignment removal GOP governor says McCarthy should condemn Boebert's anti-Muslim remarks Democrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate MORE on CNN's "State of the Union" that “nobody buys that.”
Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonFauci calls Ron Johnson's AIDS comment 'preposterous': 'I don't have any clue of what he's talking about' Wisconsin senators ask outsiders not to exploit parade attack 'for their own political purposes' It's time to bury ZombieCare once and for all MORE (R-Wis.) is also rejecting the Democrats’ plan for funding the package.
During an interview with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM, Johnson appeared to refer to the provisions in the spending package as “giveaway programs,” arguing that the party can get funding for the investments only from the middle class “because that’s where the money is,” despite their plans to tax wealthy corporations.
“They don't really bear the brunt of the tax increase,” Johnson said. “They just pass it along to consumers and to their employees in lower wages and benefits. So, yeah, it's the middle class that always pays.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBuild Back Better Is bad for the states Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda Biden points to drug prices in call for Senate social spending vote MORE (D-N.Y.) is now looking to pass the Build Back Better Act by Christmas. The bill, however, will likely face an additional vote in the House after changes are made in the Senate before it can head to Biden’s desk.