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After a GOP delay, Biden's Build Back Better bill could be voted on in the House

NOEL KING, HOST:

The House of Representatives passed President Biden's domestic spending bill largely along party lines this morning. Here's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NANCY PELOSI: Build Back Better is a better agenda for workers, for families, for children and for our planet.

KING: It is now one step closer to becoming law, but it will face some challenges in the Senate. NPR's Deirdre Walsh covers Congress. She's been following this one Good morning. Deirdre.

DEIRDRE WALSH, BYLINE: Good morning, Noel.

KING: Republicans could not defeat this bill in the end. They did, however, break a record trying.

WALSH: They did. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke for more than eight hours overnight. Leaders have what's called a magic minute, which means they essentially have no time limits. McCarthy broke a record that actually House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set back in 2018. He talked about almost every topic under the sun - China, inflation, even the fact that he knows Elon Musk, but he said he couldn't afford a test drive of a Tesla. This was all really just political theater, and it was more about McCarthy showing Republicans he was fighting. If Republicans do take control of the chamber after the midterms, he wants the votes to become the next speaker. In the end, just one House Democrat voted no. That was Jared golden of Maine. And that just shows how effective Speaker Pelosi is to steer legislation through even with just a tiny margin.

KING: All right. So now that the theater is over, at least for a little while, would you remind us what's in this bill exactly?

WALSH: Just a huge range of policies that Biden and Democrats campaigned on back in 2020, things like universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, an extension of the child tax credit, more than $500 billion for programs to combat climate change. There's a provision allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs that could save seniors a lot of money each year. It also includes four weeks of paid family leave.

KING: There are some things in this bill that have gotten through the House but will likely almost certainly not make it through the Senate.

WALSH: That's right. I mean, I just mentioned paid family leave, and we've already talked about the fact that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has opposed putting that in this package. And it's probably going to be dropped. Democrats are using this budget process to avoid a Republican filibuster. So they need all 50 Democrats to stay together. There's also an immigration provision in here that's probably going to get stripped. So there's just a lot more wrangling that's going to be happening over the next few weeks. And, you know, House Speaker Pelosi expressed confidence that all of this will get worked out, and it will eventually end up on the president's desk.

KING: NPR's Deirdre Walsh. Thanks, Deirdre.

WALSH: Thanks, Noel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Noel King is a host of Morning Edition and Up First.
Deirdre Walsh is the congress editor for NPR's Washington Desk.

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