House passes Build Back Better Bill

House lawmakers on Nov. 19 approved the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) along partisan lines by a margin of 220-213, sending the measure to the Senate where it is certain to undergo changes.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. said after House passage of the massive social spending bill that the Senate would immediately take up the measure. “We will act as quickly as possible to get this bill to President Biden’s desk and deliver help for middle-class families,” said Schumer.

After review by the Senate Parliamentarian the chamber will need to hold a vote to proceed to the measure. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WVa., who has consistently questioned the cost of the legislation, has not said how he will vote on the motion to proceed. Assuming the bill moves forward, the Senate could take months wrangling over the particulars of the bill before sending it back to the House despite Schumer’s claim that it will be finished before Christmas.

The bill extends the enhanced child tax credit (CTC) for one year, establishes universal and free preschool, paid leave and includes $550 billion of investments in clean energy and other climate change initiatives. There are also a slew of tax provisions including: a surtax of 5% on personal income above $10 million, and 3% on income above $25 million; a 15% minimum tax on corporate profits of large corporations with over $1 billion in profits, a 1% tax on stock buybacks, and a 50% minimum tax on foreign profits of U.S. corporations.

Build Back Better summary