Rep. Kevin McCarthy said that Republicans will have “another bite at the apple” to defeat President Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan if the Senate passes the legislation and it comes back to the House.
“If it fails in the Senate, it dies. But if the Senate changes it, any of those changes, has to come back to the House. So we have another bite at the apple here,” McCarthy, the House minority leader, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
McCarthy (R-Calif.), who spoke on the House floor overnight last Friday for 8 hours and 33 minutes to stall a vote on the social spending plan, said he did so because the American people need to know what’s in the Democrats’ legislation.
“I want people to know what’s in the bill. I want people to know what they are doing - that this big government socialism isn’t working,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy went on to say that Democrats understand how their “big government” policies are hurting America but they’re following through with the Build Back Better initiative because they know Republicans will take back the House in the 2022 midterms.
“Remember what AOC yelled at me from the back of the room when I quoted Congresswoman [Abigail] Spanberger, who said. ‘We did not elect Joe Biden to be FDR’ to give us a New Deal. AOC screamed, ’I did.’ It is the socialist wing of the Democratic Party that has taken over. Never before in American history has a bill so big gone through,” McCarthy said, referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester admitted that there will be “changes” to the House’s version when it comes to the Senate and warned his colleagues to be ready to “compromise.”
Tester of Montana was asked on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” whether the social spending package hoped to secure 50 Democratic votes in the Senate at all costs.
He said the chamber has a “great opportunity to do some great things” on providing childcare, fighting climate change, lowering health care and prescription drug costs but members of the Senate need to be “open to compromise.”
“And I think if we compromise like we did in the bipartisan infrastructure package where we had five Democrats and five Republicans that argued, and fought, and came to a bill that would work, I think it’s the same thing within the 50 Democrats, too. We don’t all see the world the same way,” he said on the show.
“So let’s negotiate and let’s come up with a bill that lowers costs for families, and cuts taxes, and gets things done to help move this economy forward so we can stay the premier power in the world,” Tester added.
NBC’s Chuck Todd asked him if he was a supporter of the legislation without regard for the details.
“Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. It’s going to come over from the House. There are going to be some changes. I’m going to compare it to what Montana needs, and that’s going to be where I focus on. But, look, we’re dealing with reasonable people here. I think we can come up with a bill that is a very, very good bill that works for states like Montana and other states in the union,” he said.
The House passed the Build Back Better plan on Friday by a 220-213 vote following months of contentious debate among Democrats over the provisions of the spending package and how it would be paid for.
Its price tag has been the subject of a raging debate.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill’s 10-year cost at $1.68 trillion, while Democrats have cited a figure of $1.85 trillion.
But independent analyses have claimed the real price of the measure is closer to $5 trillion if temporary programs and tax credits are extended through 2031.
The president touted the plan at events by saying it would be completely paid for by a hike in the corporate tax and by ramping up the IRS’s enforcement powers to go after tax scofflaws.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire said “nobody buys that.”
Responding to a question from CNN’s Dana Bash that Democrats have ways to offset the costs, Sununu said: “Yes, it’s called taxes.”
As governor, he said he has tried to keep taxes lower even as politicians in Washington continue to raise them.
But inflation, which is at a 30-year high, is also a tax on Americans.
“Inflation, in itself, is the worst tax you can put on low- and middle-income families across America, because they got to buy a gallon of gas as much as anybody else. And so this idea that this - we’re going to spend $1.75 trillion, but, trust us, it’s not going to cost you anything, nobody buys that,” Sununu said on “State of the Union.”
Brian Deese, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, said with House passage secured, the bill’s prospects in the Senate look promising.
”This is a process and a process that we’ve been going through here for months, working closely to and listening to members of both the House and the Senate. The milestone in the House was a big and important step in getting this bill done, and now we move to the Senate. And we will work with every member of the Senate on this bill,” Deese said on “Fox News Sunday.”
He said the results of those negotiations have led to an understanding of how the legislation will affect American families – like getting them back to work by passing childcare and extending the child tax credit.
“We have broad agreement on those provisions. And so I expect as we move to the Senate we will have a lot of momentum, we will work as the congressional process does, we’ll work to get a bill through the Senate. We need 50 votes, and then it’ll go back to the House and to the president’s desk,” he said.