In the ongoing debate surrounding Joe Biden’s $1.85T social spending bill, Republicans recently took control of the conversation with an eight-hour speech that wholly condemned the legislative agenda underlying the spending bill.
At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stood up and delivered a fierce rebuke of the Build Back Better (BBB) plan, which has transformed into the major centerpiece of the Biden administration’s economic agenda. The BBB legislation would ostensibly create a vast array of new federal government programs, as well as various clean energy policies, all of which will require increased taxes.
However, the Republican party unanimously opposes the BBB agenda, claiming that the social spending bill is not only reckless, but also harmful to the economy due to the anticipated tax increases that will arise as a result of massive spending, which in turn will exacerbate inflation.
Nonetheless, House Democrats appear well-positioned to pass the bill due to their minimal majority, which means that the GOP does not have the power to prevent the bill from passing.
Consequently, McCarthy opted to postpone plans for a Thanksgiving recess, including critical fundraisers, by launching into an extended filibuster that carried on well into the early hours of Friday morning.
In a move that severely irritated Democrats, McCarthy delivered an eight-hour speech that functioned akin to a filibuster, given the absence of a formal filibuster in the house. Eschewing the traditional one-minute closing, McCarthy opted to continue talking well into the night, forcing the House to delay their vote.
McCarthy’s speech shattered previous records, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered a lengthy speech regarding the legalization of alleged Dreamers in 2018, in reference to individuals who had been brought to the United States illegally when they were children.
“This one minute feels almost like eight hours,” McCarthy proclaimed while concluding his multi-hour speech.
McCarthy continued on to point out that it was the “longest one minute” he had ever given before, though there is “a reason why.”
“This is a tipping point,” McCarthy proclaimed, “this is a point of not coming back.”
The California representative added that “the American people have spoken,” though the Democrats continue to ignore them through their aggressive push to increase federal spending.
At some points throughout McCarthy’s speech, he was heckled by Democrats. Other Democrats criticized McCarthy on Twitter, arguing that he threw a “tantrum” over the proposed spending bill.
As part of the ongoing debate over the bill, Republicans plan to challenge Democrats to vote on specific language that would preclude agents from the IRS from snooping into Americans’ personal finances, ostensibly searching for tax evaders.
Even if the multi-trillion dollar social welfare bill clears the House, it faces a much more difficult future in the Senate, especially given the necessity of a simple majority in its passing.
The Senate parliamentarian is tasked with completing the analysis of the BBB agenda in order to make sure that it aligns with the budgetary tactic rules that the Senate Democrats intend to employ, chiefly to secure the bill’s passage with only 51 votes instead of 60.
Consequently, the parliamentarian may well reject a bill provision that argues in favor of providing legal status to multiple millions of illegal migrants.
Furthermore, the bill must also align with the interests of Democrat Senators Krysten Sinema (AZ) and Joe Manchin (WV), who are known for more centrist positions.
Manchin has been particularly vocal about the bill, noting that the high costs will likely entail higher inflation, which will harm his constituents. He also argues against paid parental leave, indicating that other existing entitlements, namely Medicare and Social Security, already face a questionable future.
Democrat Chuck Schumer (NY), the current Majority Leader in the Senate, also informed reporters that he plans to bring up the bill prior to the holiday season.