Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the stakes of passing the Build Back Better Act are “really high”, however, she also says trust between progressives and their fellow Democrats depends on it.
House Democrats passed the $2 trillion social-spending package on Friday morning without any Republican support. The bill includes funds for universal preschool, child tax credits, and the expansion of Medicare, among other items.
“For the second time in just two weeks, the House of Representatives has moved on critical and consequential pieces of my legislative agenda,” Biden said in a statement.
“Now, the Build Back Better Act goes to the United States Senate, where I look forward to it passing as soon as possible so I can sign it into law.”
Earlier versions of the bill were estimated to cost $3.5 trillion, but it was cut back after opposition from centrist Democrats.
Ocasio-Cortez said if the social-spending bill doesn’t pass trust will be broken among progressive and centrist Democrats.
“So if those promises don’t follow through, it’s going to be very, very difficult for them to get votes on anything moving forward, because the trust that was already so delicate will have been broken,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She said the reason the Progressive Caucus voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed and was signed into law this month, were promises from President Joe Biden, House leadership, and other Democrats.
Some liberals voted for the infrastructure package only after Biden and other Democrats assured them the social spending bill would pass.
The legislation cleared the chamber a near-party line vote of 220-213.
After a handful of centrist Democrats in the House threatened to vote against it throughout the fall, only one joined GOP ranks in voting no: Rep. Jared Golden of Maine.
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