WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s social safety net and climate package could get a House vote as soon as Thursday afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at her weekly news conference.
Pelosi said she is still waiting for more Congressional Budget Office cost estimates on the bill, which the agency said it would release later Thursday afternoon. She also said lawmakers need to make sure the bill complies with Senate requirements for the so-called reconciliation process used for some spending and tax measures, which will allow Democrats to pass the bill with a simple majority and avoid a Republican filibuster, before procedural and passage votes can take place.
“Those votes hopefully will take place later this afternoon,” Pelosi said.
The CBO cost estimate could unlock the votes needed to pass the bill if five centrist Democrats are satisfied with the figures.
The legislation calls for spending $1.75 trillion over a decade on a variety of Democratic priorities, from health care subsidies to clean energy. It would give the government the power to negotiate prices for certain medicines, subsidize child care and extend cash payments for most parents with children under 18.
Democrats aim to cover the cost of the social safety net package through taxes on corporations and more money for IRS enforcement. Ahead of the CBO analysis, they’re also insisting the legislation would be fully paid for.
One of the key Democratic holdouts in the Senate, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, was seen at the White House on Thursday. He was in attendance for Dr. Rahul Gupta’s swearing in as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Earlier this week, Biden visited Detroit to promote the recently enacted infrastructure law and made the case for the social safety net bill.
Speaking from a General Motors plant that was renovated to build electric trucks and SUVs, Biden said Wednesday that his legislative agenda would not add to inflationary pressures and argued that his $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan would make a “gigantic difference” for households by lowering the costs of child and health care.
On Monday, Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes $7.5 billion to build a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations aimed at helping speed consumer adaptation of clean vehicles, and $6 billion for low- or no-emission transit vehicles.