House Democrats delay vote on massive spending bill

By Fernando Alfonso III and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 7:27 a.m. ET, November 19, 2021
13 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:47 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

Budget watchdog estimates cost of Build Back Better bill at $2.4 trillion

From CNN's Manu Raju

Based on the Congressional Budget Office's analysis, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the cost of the Build Back Better bill is $2.4 trillion and would add $160 billion to deficits over the next decade and $750 billion to deficits over the next five years.

Where things stand on Capitol Hill: House Democrats are gearing up to pass President Biden's plan to dramatically expand the social safety net with leadership racing to secure a legislative victory for the party even as major obstacles await in the Senate.

Democrats had been waiting for cost estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before voting on the legislation after moderates demanded the information.

CBO released its final scoring for the bill early Thursday evening, estimating that the package "would result in a net increase in the deficit totaling $367 billion over the 2022-2031 period, not counting any additional revenue that may be generated by additional funding for tax enforcement," according to a summary released.

The White House is now trying to make the case that the bill will be fully paid for, despite the CBO analysis showing a shortfall.

CNN's Clare Foran and Morgan Rimmer contributed reporting to this post. 

10:37 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

Pelosi's press office calls McCarthy's floor speech a "temper tantrum"

From CNN's Annie Grayer

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s press office has called House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's nearly two-hour floor speech a “temper tantrum” tonight in a statement.

"House Democrats are preparing to pass landmark legislation to lower costs, fight inflation and make big corporations and the wealthiest pay their fair share. But McCarthy is welcome to keep getting facts wrong on the House Floor," Pelosi's office said.

10:11 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

McCarthy responds to interruptions from Democrats

From CNN's Annie Grayer

Democrats continue to interrupt House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, while he has been speaking for more than an hour ahead on the vote on the Build Back Better Act.

McCarthy suggested that since Democrats are so comfortable removing members from committees — such as GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar — that those who continue to interrupt his speech should be removed from the House floor.

10:02 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been speaking for more than an hour

From CNN's Annie Grayer

(House TV)
(House TV)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, has now been talking for more than an hour.

Under the rules, he is allowed to speak for an unlimited amount of time before a vote can be held on the Build Back Better Act.

9:14 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

Moderate Democratic Rep. Jared Golden is a "no" on Build Back Better, according to Bangor Daily News 

From CNN's Melanie Zanona

Moderate Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine is a “no” on Build Back Better, according to the Bangor Daily News.

“Many of my colleagues argue this major line item is worth accepting to pass the rest of the bill,” Golden said in a statement, according to the paper. “I disagree: the SALT giveaway in the Build Back Better Act is larger than the child care, pre-K, healthcare or senior care provisions of the bill.”

Golden also told the paper that Thursday’s vote was not “the final word,” adding, “I will continue to stay at the table and negotiate for the best deal possible until the very last opportunity.” 

Democrats can afford to lose a total of three votes. Golden is so far the only official no vote.

9:19 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy is giving a long floor speech to delay the vote

From CNN's Annie Grayer

(House TV)
(House TV)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, is currently giving a long speech on the floor to delay when the House can vote on Build Back Better Act.

Some Democrats jeered McCarthy and said, “That’s all right. I got all night.”

The group of Democrats responded “so do we,” adding on Build Back Better, ”we’ve been waiting for this a long time.”

8:10 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

Rep. Kurt Schrader says he will vote for the Build Back Better Act

From CNN's Alex Rogers

Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon, tweeted that he will vote for the Build Back Better Act tonight.

“I will vote for the Build Back Better Act tonight. I am confident moving this legislation forward is the best decision for Oregon families, businesses and our economy. I look forward to working with the Senate to further improve the bill to deliver these investments to our state," Schrader said.

Read the tweet:

8:12 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

Rep. James Clyburn says he expects to lose a few Democrats on Build Back Better vote

From CNN's Colin McCullough

Rep. James E. Clyburn speaks during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on November 17, in Washington, DC.
Rep. James E. Clyburn speaks during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on November 17, in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The Democratic House Majority Whip, Rep. James Clyburn, of South Carolina, expects that there will be some Democrats who will vote no on the Build Back Better plan.

Clyburn said it’s his “expectation” that the caucus will lose Democratic votes, adding that he could think of “one or two people who are wedded to the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] numbers.”

Clyburn also said that he was expecting to lose several votes on the rule for the Build Back Better plan that was held on Nov. 5 but the caucus did not lose any. 

On tonight’s vote, Clyburn said “we’ll just have to wait and see.”

8:21 p.m. ET, November 18, 2021

Hoyer: "I think we’ll have the votes"

From CNN's Morgan Rimmer

(House TV)
(House TV)

House Majority Leader Hoyer Steny Hoyer said he was doing “terrific" as he left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

When asked if that meant they had the votes to pass spending bill tonight, he told CNN, “I think we’ll have the votes.” 

More on the expected vote: House Democrats are gearing up to pass President Biden's plan to dramatically expand the social safety net as soon as tonight with leadership racing to secure a legislative victory for the party even as major obstacles await in the Senate.

The sweeping $1.9 trillion economic legislation stands as a pillar of Biden's domestic agenda. It would deliver on key Democratic priorities by dramatically expanding social services for Americans, working to mitigate and address the climate crisis, increasing access to health care and delivering aid to families and children.

CNN's Clare Foran, Manu Raju and Morgan Rimmer contributed reporting to this post.