WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – There was a big win for House Democrats after the passage of President Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion spending bill, which would dramatically expand the nation’s social safety net.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said, “This bill is monumental, it’s historic, it’s transformative. It’s bigger than anything we’ve ever done.”
Among the many provisions, the Build Back Better Act would create a universal pre-k program, extend the enhanced child tax credit, expand access to health care, affordable housing and home care for seniors and people with disabilities.
Democrats say these items are urgently needed, but Republicans have decried the legislation as reckless spending.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) said, “It’s a pathway to socialism.”
Friday’s vote came after an overnight delay in which Rep. McCarthy spoke for more than eight and a half hours, trying to stall action on the floor.
“Speaker Pelosi has crammed even more radical policies into a partisan bill that cost trillions of dollars we don’t have for government-run programs that nobody wants,” he said.
In a statement, President Biden applauded the House’s passage, calling it a “giant step forward” for his agenda.
The bill now faces a tough road ahead in the Senate, where major changes are expected.
But Democrats hope to send the bill to the president’s desk by Christmas.
Rep. Pelosi said, “Whatever comes out of the Senate, we’ll be working together with them so that we have an agreement when it comes back to that.”