House Democrat says she’ll oppose parts of $3.5T spending package
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), a prominent moderate House Democrat, indicated Thursday that she is planning to vote against the provisions under consideration in the House Ways and Means Committee’s markup of portions of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill, citing concerns about the legislative process.
“Despite this committee’s extraordinary efforts, I find myself in an impossible situation, ” she said, adding that she expects to vote “no,” “unless something changes.”
Murphy said that she supports many of the proposals in Democrats’ spending package, and she said she recognizes that Democrats have to advance the legislation on a Democratic-only basis.
But she expressed concerns about the fact that the Ways and Means Committee has only released some of the proposals it is expected to consider in the markup, and has yet to release proposals on prescription drugs, clean energy incentives, and tax increases. She also said that lawmakers have yet to see Congressional Budget Office scores for many of the proposals.
“Process matters, because I want my constituents to have faith in what I’m doing,” she said.
My constituents expect me to consider bills in a thorough & transparent way. While I support many provisions in the Build Back Better Act, it’s being rushed through my committee before we know exactly what’s in it, what it’s going to cost, & how we’re going to pay for it.
— U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (@RepStephMurphy) September 9, 2021
Murphy said she doesn’t blame the committee for the fact that some of the legislative text has yet to be released, and instead criticized Democratic leaders for setting an “artificial deadline” of Sept. 15 for committees to finish markups of the spending package.
“I believe this deadline was too rushed, driven by politics, rather than policy,” she said.
Murphy added that she wants to see all of the Ways and Means Committee’s portions of the bill before voting for any provisions because the bill would create programs that would significantly affect her constituents.
“I don’t think we can afford to do everything, and as a legislator, I have to prioritize and make tough choices, ” she said.
Murphy said she plans to “continue working to get this package to a place where I can support it, where it can pass both chambers, and where it can be signed by the president.”
Murphy’s opposition would not prevent the committee from advancing portions of the spending bill, but her comments could signal problems for Democrats when they consider the spending package on the House floor. Democrats have a very narrow majority in the House.