Divided House debates Dems’ expansive social, climate bill | Govt. & Politics

A cost estimate on the bill, promised by Friday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, was expected to show a modestly higher price tag and deficits of perhaps $200 billion over the coming decade. Early signs were that those differences were unlikely to derail the legislation, which exceeds 2,100 pages.

“Each of these investments on its own will make an extraordinary impact on the lives of American families,” said House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., ticking off the bill’s initiatives. Noting that savings would come from higher levies on the rich and corporations, he added, “It’s a helluva deal.”

Republicans said the legislation would damage an economy already racked by inflation, give tax breaks to some wealthy taxpayers and make government bigger and more intrusive. Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, the Budget Committee’s top Republican, used alliteration from Biden’s name for the measure — Build Back Better — to mock it.

“Bankrupts the economy. Benefits the wealthy. And it builds the Washington machine,” Smith said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she was hoping the chamber would vote on the measure later Thursday, reflecting Democratic plans to approve the measure before leaving for a weeklong holiday break. “This is going to be a wonderful Thanksgiving,” she said.

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