“Too many Americans are just barely getting by in our economy,” Hoyer said. “And we simply can’t go back to the way things were before the pandemic.”
House passage would also give Biden a momentary taste of victory, and probably relief, during perhaps the rockiest period of his presidency. He’s been battered by falling approval numbers in polls, reflecting voters’ concerns over inflation, gridlocked supply chains and the persistent coronavirus pandemic, leaving Democrats worried that their legislative efforts are not breaking through to voters.
Biden this week signed a $1 trillion package of highway and other infrastructure projects, another priority that overcame months of internal Democratic battling. The president has spent recent days promoting that measure around the country.
McCarthy spent over seven hours on his feet, at times shouting or rasping hoarsely. Democrats sporadically booed and groaned as McCarthy glared back, underscoring partisan hostility only deepened by this week’s censure of Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for threatening tweets aimed at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
McCarthy, who hopes to become speaker if Republicans capture the chamber in next year’s elections, recited problems the country has faced under Biden, including inflation, China’s rise and large numbers of immigrants crossing the Southwest border. “Yeah, I want to go back,” he said in mocking reference to the “Build Back Better” name Biden uses for the legislation.