UPDATED 3:24 PM PT – Wednesday, August 25, 2021
House Democrats have voted to advance their $3.5 trillion budget resolution. After much debate, it came down to a 220 to 212 vote, strictly along party lines on Tuesday.
This would allow Democrats to write and pass their own spending package without Republican support. However, it also includes a non-binding commitment to take up the Senate-passed infrastructure deal by Sept. 27.
This comes after centrists Democrats refused to move forward with any of the Democrat House leadership’s agenda before there were assurances they would move to pass the bipartisan infrastructure deal first. In addition, the far-reaching vote advanced Democrats’ so-called voting rights bill, which the House passed later Tuesday night.
Proud to vote today to advance President Biden’s historic #BuildBackBetter agenda! We are ready to deliver progress #ForThePeople by making historic investments to help our families, economy, and give our children a better future! https://t.co/lDoiIA30fU
— Rep. Marc Veasey (@RepVeasey) August 24, 2021
Speaking on the floor, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called it a sad day for the country, pointing to the trillions of dollars in spending the bills would rack up if fully passed.
“Maybe in your caucus you think it’s a great day for you and the Democrats. It is an embarrassing day to America,” stated McCarthy. “It’s an embarrassing day for this floor, and it’s embarrassing that you would even move forward with it.”
The California Republican also condemned Democrats for essentially ignoring the disastrous Afghan withdrawal, arguing Congress should be drafting legislation to help get Americans stranded in the war-torn country back home and to ensure the Taliban takeover does not pose a threat to U.S. national security.
“Democrats called us back for an emergency session, the first session since Kabul fell to the Taliban. But faced with a national security and credibility crisis in Afghanistan, they have done nothing to plan to address it,” said McCarthy.
Meanwhile at his press briefing on Tuesday, Joe Biden praised House leadership for moving the packages forward with no bipartisan agreement.
Additionally, Democrats hope to fit in a number of their major agenda items in the budget package, including investments in far-left climate policy, an expansion to Medicare and universal Pre-K education.