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Build Back Better Still On The Agenda

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President Joe Biden has said he is confident that large chunks of the Build Back Better bill can be broken down, salvaged, and signed into law.

  • ‘I think we can break the package up, get as much as we can now and come back and fight for the rest later’.
  • There is a procedural problem for this plan as the reconciliation process utilised by Build Back Better can only be used sparingly to pass legislation in Congress. Bills via reconciliation only require a simple majority, but they must conform to rigid parliamentary oversight.
  • The next iteration of Build Back Better will prompt more bitter infighting among Democrats on the Hill. The more the original bill is slashed, the less likely it is to gain the support of Democrats who have seen their preferred piece of legislation removed.
  • Expect the highly popular, but costly, child tax credits scheme to be scrapped.
  • Democrats will try to get a new proposal drafted and sent to the House as soon as possible. The worst-case scenario for Democrats would be another drawn-out legislative battle in the Senate at the forefront of voters’ minds during the midterms in November.
  • The package that emerges will likely be conservative and come with a pre-negotiated rubber stamp from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). Manchin is a supporter of many of the climate provisions in Build Back Better but was not a supporter of temporary programs that weren’t costed for permanent implementation. He is particularly worried about high levels of public spending during a period of inflation.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3850 | adam.burrowes@marketnews.com

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