A Bumpy Road for Build Back Better

It’s safe to stay the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better social spending bill still has a way to go before becoming law. 

The ball is currently in the House, which is expected to pass the legislation this week once they receive the Congressional Budget Office score. What’s unknown is what will be in and what will be out. Tax provisions aren’t entirely ironed out, immigrations provisions likely violate Senate rules and paid family leave is on the bubble.

And then things get more complicated in the Senate. The Senate Parliamentarian determines what provisions violate the Senate rules and must come out of the legislation – known cheekily as “Byrd droppings.” That process likely means Senate action could come the last week of December. 

At the same time, Democrats will be working with moderate Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to win their support, negotiations that could drag out the process. And once the Byrd bath and negotiations are complete, you guessed it: The Senate must have another vote-a-rama, which likely could take a week. 

AND THEN! The bill will have to go back to the House to be passed again before it can go to the president’s desk. This is all to say, there is still quite a lot of work to be done before the BBB passes into law. 

In an ideal world, it would all be done before the end of the year, but any number of things could cause a delay.