Debate Begins on Build Back Better Act
This week, the House began debate on the Biden Administration-led spending proposal that makes historic investments in human infrastructure. Readers will recall that before Congress adjourned for summer recess, both chambers spent significant political capital reaching an agreement on a traditional infrastructure package that includes improvements to transportation and energy infrastructure. This separate ‘human infrastructure’ bill, the Build Back Better Act, includes huge investments in the public health infrastructure, including issues such as drug pricing reform, expansions to Medicare (vision, dental and hearing), a national paid family and medical leave plan, and an increase in funding for the national social safety net. There are some key provisions in the committee drafts that would be of interest to Academy members:
Committee markups are expected to conclude by today, though it is unclear if every committee will be able to meet that deadline. The full chamber will then vote on the complete bill after the House returns from the Yom Kippur holiday. The Senate will then take up the bill, but inter- and intra-party fighting has already begun around the bill’s large price tag and the use of the budget reconciliation process which only requires a majority vote, thereby avoiding filibuster.