Friday, November 19, 2021

Happy Friday

Build Back Better is going to happen despite the attempt to filibuster by Kevin McCarthy.

House Democrats plan to vote Friday on a sprawling, more than $2 trillion package to overhaul the country’s health care, education, climate, immigration and tax laws, pushing back their initial plans after Republicans mobilized to briefly obstruct a central piece of President Biden’s economic agenda.

Democrats began Thursday hoping to hold a swift vote on the signature spending initiative, putting an end to months of intense, internal wrangling among their own liberal and moderate ranks. The bill’s passage would have notched another major milestone for Biden just days after he signed into law a separate effort to invest $1.2 trillion in the nation’s infrastructure.

But their timetable hit an unexpected snag after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) took to the chamber floor beginning in the evening. He soon embarked on a form of filibuster, using the unlimited time available to House leaders ahead of votes to rail on the roughly $2 trillion bill. McCarthy’s winding speech attacked Democrats over a broad range of issues, including border security and Afghanistan policy, and repeatedly mischaracterized their exact spending ambitions.

The GOP leader’s ongoing remarks often drew jeers and laughs from Democrats, some of whom left as he spoke. But it ultimately had some effect, even if temporarily: Once the speech lapsed past midnight and into its fourth hour, Democratic leaders made the decision to hold off on a vote on the spending bill until later Friday.

“We’re going to recess, and we’ll come in at 8 a.m.” Friday, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters.

“He wants to do it in the middle of the night,” Hoyer said of McCarthy’s motivations for speaking for so late. “We’re going to do it in the light of day.”

Kevin McCarthy is no Jimmy Stewart.


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