Democrats prepare to move Biden's $1.75 trillion bill forward in House
Earlier on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she hoped votes on the landmark legislation could occur later in the day. The legislation would fund expanded social programs, mainly to help children and seniors, and provide $550 billion to battle climate change.
U.S. President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion social program and climate change investment bill was moving closer to a House of Representatives vote as the chamber's Rules Committee scheduled a meeting on Thursday to clear the way for debate. Earlier on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she hoped votes on the landmark legislation could occur later in the day.
The legislation would fund expanded social programs, mainly to help children and seniors, and provide $550 billion to battle climate change. If it passes the Democratic-controlled House, it would go to the Senate for consideration, where two moderate Democratic members have threatened to hold it up. The Rules Committee was set to meet at 5:30 p.m. ET (22:30 GMT).
House members also were awaiting the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office's final assessment of whether the legislation would meet the Biden administration's promise it would not result in deficit spending. CBO said it would provide that analysis on Thursday.
Moderate House Democrats have been particularly interested in receiving the CBO "score" of the bill. It is unclear whether any moderates would withhold their support for the sprawling bill if the analysis finds additional tax revenues embedded in the bill would not cover the new spending. Republicans are expected to oppose the legislation in lock-step following months of attacking it as a wasteful "socialist" agenda that will stoke price inflation.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who also has sounded alarms over inflation, gave his full-throttled support on Thursday for the bill. "This is as close to a no-brainer as I've seen in decades of public policy analysis," Summers told reporters on a call hosted by the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress.
He warned the legislation might be the last opportunity for some time to expand the IRS' auditing capability and begin collecting billions of dollars of taxes not being paid by mostly high-income Americans.
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