Sharply divided house approves social spending bill

House Democrats, via a near partly-line vote, approved a social spending bill. The matter goes to an equally divided Senate, where passage is anything but certain.


National News

November 19, 2021 - 3:11 PM

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) presides over the vote for the Build Back Better Act at the U.S. Capitol Friday, in Washington, DC. Photo by (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats brushed aside months-long divisions and pushed their expansive social and environment bill through a sharply divided House on Friday, as President Joe Biden and his party moved closer to capitalizing on their control of government by funneling its resources toward their top domestic priorities.

The House approved the legislation by a near party-line 220-213 vote, sending the measure to a Senate where cost-cutting demands by moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and that chamber’s strict rules seem certain to force significant changes. That will prompt fresh disputes between party centrists and progressives that will likely take weeks to resolve.

Even so, House passage marked a watershed for a measure remarkable for the breadth and depth of the changes it would make in federal policies. Wrapped into one bill are far-reaching changes in taxation, health care, energy, climate change, family services, education and housing. That shows the Democrats’ desire to achieve their goals while controlling the White House and Congress, a dominance that could end after next year’s midterm elections.

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