Budget bill passes as Democrats seek to avoid midterm losses

On Friday, the House approved a climate, health and tax package picking up key elements of the Democrats’ national agenda for President Joe Biden’s signature.

The vote was 220 to 207, with all Democrats and zero Republicans supporting the bill. This follows a 51-50 vote in the Senate on Sunday on the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill, and the measure is now heading to Biden’s office with the support of every elected Democrat occupying a seat. federal function.

That level of unanimity was unthinkable until late last month, when Sen. Joe Manchin III, DW.Va., struck a surprise deal with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. After some final tweaks to appease the Senate’s other centrist holdout, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, the party leaders had all but secured a victory that had proven elusive for much of the year.

Key provisions include a wide range of climate and energy spending programs and tax credits, corporate tax increases, funds for the IRS to speed up tax collection, negotiation the price of prescription drugs and an extension of more generous health insurance subsidies.

Many priorities of the original House measure were dropped, including an expanded child tax credit, paid family and medical leave, universal preschool, child care for children under 6, aid for higher education, affordable housing, immigration assistance, and the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare. .

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