As we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, with Congress on holiday recess and the President having performed his annual turkey pardoning duties (this year sparing two Midwestern-raised birds, Peanut Butter and Jelly), we thought we would provide a shortened, holiday-themed edition of Washington Weekly — while covering the most recent congressional climate action.
Last Friday, the House passed H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, on a 220 to 213 vote. Check out Michigan LCV’s statement on the House’s passage of this historic legislation, and read about the many real world benefits of the nearly $600 billion allotted for climate change.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where high-stakes negotiations, and changes to the legislation, are expected to take place when the Senate returns from recess. Senator Schumer is thus far projecting confidence that, after negotiations with Senators Manchin and Sinema, the final Senate version will mirror many aspects of the House bill, including a majority of the climate provisions, and be wrapped up by Christmas.
Importantly, the latest scoring done by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), completed late last week, shows that the House version of the Build Back Better Act would decrease the deficit by $127 billion over 10 years (by increasing outlays by $80 billion and revenues by $207 billion). While this number obviously takes into account a host of assumptions given the 10-year timeline, it underscores the larger fact that, despite calls to the contrary by those opposed to the legislation, it will not measurably, or at all, increase the national deficit.
Of course, much work remains to get this urgently-needed legislation to the finish line. For now, though, we want to take a minute to give thanks to all of those who have worked so hard in the past year to get to where we are — having passed the most significant infrastructure and jobs bill in decades, after years of unsuccessful attempts by presidents of both parties to do so, and on the precipice of enacting climate and social-spending legislation that would fundamentally change our country, and the world, for the better. To members of the Michigan LCV team and our partners, congressional Democrats, most especially our tremendous allies in the Michigan delegation (Reps Kildee, Slotkin, Levin, Stevens, Dingell, Tlaib, and Lawrence), the White House, and you — our supporters and followers — THANK YOU.
As we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with family members and loved ones, many of whom may share differing political views, it’s important to remember what this effort, and these pieces of legislation, are truly about — ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our kids and grandkids, of our local communities and natural resources, and of all of our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable among us. They are, in short, about creating a better future for everyone sitting at your table. For that, we can all agree to be thankful.
Thanks for reading, stay safe, and Happy Thanksgiving.
Note to Readers: Coming out of the long holiday weekend and with Congress not back in session until November 30, there will be no Washington Weekly newsletter next week. We will be back in your inbox on Wednesday, December 8.
P.S. While the Michigan LCV team hails from all corners of our great state and proudly represents most all of the major universities across Michigan, myself and the Washington Weekly editor (while admittedly holding multiple University of Michigan degrees between us) believe that, given the historic nature of this weekend’s game, coupled with last Saturday’s results, we can speak for everyone when we say — Go Blue! Beat Ohio!!