The House on Tuesday approved by a vote of 220-212 a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that, when passed, will help expand the social safety net in the United States.
The vote came after almost two days of negotiations with a group of House moderates who were threatening to withhold their support for the framework until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi allowed a vote on the $1.2 trillion Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill.
The budget resolution is the framework for what will become the legislation that President Biden will sign into law. It gives committees in the House and Senate instructions on how to write the reconciliation legislation that will be voted on.
Speaker Pelosi held firm on her stance that the House would not take up the bipartisan bill until the Senate passes the larger package through the reconciliation process.
The outcome of the negotiations was a vote on the budget resolution and an agreement that the House would take up the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27, 2021.
“With regard to the $3.5 trillion toppling number for this package, the President has been clear: this is the number that will honor his vision to Build Back Better,” House Speaker Pelosi wrote in a letter to House Democrats over the weekend. “This is the number that has been agreed to in the senate and is now before us in the House. Accordingly, we will write a reconciliation bill with the Senate that is consistent with that top line.”
“Not only are we building the physical infrastructure of America, we are building the human infrastructure of America,” the House Speaker said.
Biden praised House Democrats for their work in approving the $3.5 trillion resolution, calling Pelosi “masterful” in her leadership.
“The bottom line is in my view: we are a step closer to truly investing in the American people, positioning our economy for long-term growth and building an America that outcompetes the rest of the world,” the President said. “My goal is to build an economy from the bottom up and middle out, not just the top down.”
“A step closer to truly investing in the American people.”
“With roads and bridges crumbling across our nation, this agreement does what we set out to do: secure a standalone vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, send it to the President’s desk, and then separately consider the reconciliation package,” Representative Josh Gottheimer, one of the moderate Democrats involved in the negotiations said in a statement.
“We have to establish a path forward,” Gottheimer added.
Republicans believe that the plan is too costly and say that the budget resolution will negatively impact business and increase debt.
“Make no mistake: The vote on the rule today is the green light for the spending and the tax hikes, Texas Representative Kevin Brady said on Bloomberg TV’s “Balance of Power” segment.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we have two things going for us: One is that these provisions represent longstanding Democratic priorities, and secondly, they’re widely popular with the American people according to polls,” John Yarmuth, Budget Committee Chairman, said.