After a more than eight-hour speech by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy attempting to derail Biden’s Build Back Better Act, House Democrats finally passed the massive social spending bill Friday morning.
Congressional Texas Democrats are touting the passage of the legislation which will spend $2 trillion over 10 years on the country’s social safety and combating climate change.
Houston Congressman Al Green called the passage a “turning point” for America.
“This legislation will create millions of good-paying jobs, strengthening the working families who are the backbone of our country. It is a far-reaching bill with enormous investments in families, health care, and the environment,” Green said in a statement.
The bill expands Medicare and Medicaid coverage, guarantees four weeks of paid parental, family and medical leave, and establishes universal pre-school for all three and four-year-olds.
At least $300 billion will go to tax incentives for increasing renewable energy and funding the new Civilian Climate Corps, an FDR-style workforce that will restore forests and wetlands to guard against climate change.
“This legislation will address some of the most pressing needs of our families and environment while creating millions of jobs and reinforcing the middle class,” Green said. “I am confident this bill will set our nation on the path toward a brighter future, and I look forward to the positive changes it will bring to people’s day-to-day lives.”
Congressman Joaquin Castro of San Antonio said the bill would build out America’s “Infrastructure of Opportunity” and was fully paid for by the wealthiest individuals and giant corporations paying their fair share.
“This bill is a once-in-a-generation investment that will help accelerate our economic recovery and enable all Americans to pursue their dreams,” Castro said, urging the Senate to take swift action on passing the bill.
The bill passed 220-213 in the House. It will now head to the Senate where negotiations will continue with key moderate Democrats who have raised concerns about the price tag of the legislation as well as opposition toward ending the Senate filibuster rule that would allow passage with a slim majority.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org