The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint, laying the groundwork for a massive expansion of social safety net and climate programs.
A compromise between Democratic leaders and a group of moderates led the House to vote on a rule to advance both the budget deal and a separate $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The rule’s passage approved the budget resolution, allowing the House to bypass a separate vote, and also directs the chamber to take up the bipartisan bill by September 27.
Moderate and progressive House Democrats clashed as moderates looked to vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill before voting on the budget resolution and progressives pushed back, warning that they would not support the bipartisan plan without a larger reconciliation package.
The rule passed in a 220-212 vote, along party lines. It comes after the Senate approved the budget resolution earlier this month.
Both chambers have to adopt the resolution to allow Democrats to use budget reconciliation to eventually pass the legislation using a simple majority.
The budget resolution looks to make massive investments in climate, health care, families and infrastructure and jobs. It would create universal pre-K for 3 and 4-year-olds and make community college free for two years, according to a summary of the budget resolution.
The measure also adds new dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare coverage, calls for the formation of a Civilian Climate Corps, and would invest significant funds into affordable housing.
President Biden celebrated the vote in remarks at the White House on Tuesday.
“Today the House of Representatives have taken a significant step toward making a historic investment that’s going to transform America, cut taxes for working families and position the American economy for long term, long term growth,” he said.
He added that the vote would allow the House to consider his “Build Back Better” agenda — “a broad framework to make housing more affordable, bring down the cost of prescription drugs by giving medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for drugs” and t0 “make elder care more affordable.”
Biden said the plan would provide clean energy tax credits and “continue to give the middle-class families the well-deserved tax cut for daycare and health care they deserve.”