Despite GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s eight-hour speech, the House passed Biden’s Build Back Better bill. Left- and right-wing media focused on the acrimony between Democrats and Republicans in the House.
House Democrats have passed a large supplemental spending bill including social and climate agenda items on a nearly strict bipartisan vote.
- According to the Congressional Budget Office, which “scores” the cost of legislation, the bill, dubbed by proponents “Build Back Better”, will add $367 billion to the national debt.
- The bill was expected to pass Thursday night, but House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy stalled with an eight-hour speech that lasted to 5AM.
- McCarthy’s speech earned jeers, heckling, and taunts on Twitter from Democrat lawmakers.
- Tucked in the social spending bill is a provision that restores state and local tax deductions previously limited in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which will disproportionately benefit high income earners in blue states.
- The bill also “provides free preschool for all 3- and 4-years olds” among other social agenda priorities for Democrats, some of whom were waiting to pledge support for the spending bill until the CBO score was released.
- Prior to passage, CNN lauded that Democrats were “finally” ramming through their agenda, despite acknowledging their legislative agenda “is not addressing the nation’s most important issues.”
- Huffington Post provided a comprehensive rundown of both McCarthy’s eight-hour speech and the Democrat sniping on Twitter.
- ABC News noted the “acrimonious” tone of debate on the House floor, the back-and-forth among members of both sides of the aisle, and “tensions” “still running high” after Arizona Republican Paul Gosar was censured and stripped of committee assignments for posting a “provocative cartoon video” on Twitter.
- The Washington Times framed McCarthy’s “filibuster” (the House does not have a formal filibuster, but a tradition called “magic minute” in which the leaders of both parties are given unlimited debate time) as an attempt to prevent Democrats from passing the behemoth spending bill “in the dead of night.”
- Breitbart framed the delayed vote as House Democrats “waving the white flag” of surrender. It is anything but surrender, simply an acknowledgement of McCarthy’s stamina.
- Daily Caller also lauded McCarthy’s hours-long speech, noting McCarthy’s response to various Democratic members jeering him in the House chamber.
When even CNN admits the Democrats’ signature legislative achievements miss the mark in terms of what the public believes is important, it’s time for party leaders to assess their priorities. Either Democrats are completely disconnected from political reality, or they know the 2022 midterm elections will be a disaster for them regardless of what they do. This could be their chance to throw the Hail Mary of their largest agenda items.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021