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Build Back Better vote eases Democratic tensions and raises McCarthy’s profile

WASHINGTON – Progressives celebrated a giant leap towards expanding the social safety net. The centrist Democrats have secured some of the major legislative demands. And Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy won Conservative praise for a lengthy floor speech that delayed passage of the Build Back Better Act.

From a political perspective, all parties had much to celebrate after Friday’s largely partisan vote on the $ 1.7 trillion spending program.

For Democrats, tensions between progressives and moderates have eased after months of internal wrangling over differences in policy and procedure over the safety net and infrastructure bills.

Progressive fears that a centrist faction, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., is plotting to overthrow Build Back Better legislation have proven to be unfounded. For months, the Liberals blocked the passage of the $ 550 billion infrastructure bill to be used as leverage before finally giving in two weeks ago when the House passed the bipartisan measure. The centrists in turn voted for the larger bill shortly after receiving the cost estimate they wanted from the Congressional Budget Office.

And with their votes, Gottheimer and other members of the group secured a major political priority in the bill by raising the $ 10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions, set by Republicans in 2017, to 80,000. $. The cap hits the hardest on residents of high-tax states like New York and New Jersey.

For some New Jerseyans, it was personal. The state sends more money to the US Treasury than it receives federal funding, and the deduction cap has widened this disparity by limiting tax deductions for residents.

Gottheimer, co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solver Caucus, celebrated the provision after the vote in the House.

Progressives, meanwhile, were delighted that the House passed a dramatic expansion of the social safety net – including universal kindergarten and funds for child care, housing and health care – and endorsed record spending to fight climate change.

“This landmark Build Back Better law delivers on our promise to provide transformative investments to workers across America that will allow them to wake up feeling different about their daily lives and the opportunities their families have,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. ., Chairman of the Progressive Caucus.

McCarthy, for his part, took the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the House bill, delivering an 8-hour, 32-minute speech that delayed a vote scheduled for Thursday night and broke a previously held record. by President Nancy Pelosi for the longest speech on the ground.

The California Republican’s lengthy remarks attacked many aspects of Biden’s presidency and the Democrats’ “one-party rule” in Washington. He called the opposition party reckless and spendthrift in a speech that supplied an assortment of red meat to the Republican base and covered a range of unrelated topics, from Elon Musk to Afghan politics.

McCarthy seemed to have reached his audience.

On Friday afternoon, former President Donald Trump released a statement praising the Minority Leader: “Excellent work by Kevin McCarthy last night, setting a record by exceeding the 8-hour House speech in order to s ‘properly oppose communism,’ he said.

McCarthy’s top priority is to take back control of the House from the Democrats next year and become president, a goal that will likely require help from Trump and his supporters. He received praise from some staunch Trump allies, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., After his speech.

At the end of the night, some Democrats cheekily thanked McCarthy for calling attention to a bill that remains popular with the American public in the polls, even as Biden’s job approval rating has it. took a hit.

The drama surrounding the vote gave some grassroots members another opportunity to grab national attention.

Seconds before the adoption vote was announced, Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., Spoke in the House to announce several Republican proxy votes and said she was voting “no” on the project. law, nicknamed him “Build Back Broke.”

“And good luck in the Senate,” she said.

Moments later, Pelosi was asked to respond to McCarthy who broke his record for longest speech.

“No, I barely noticed,” she joked before returning to the celebration of the content of the legislation.

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