By Brandon Moseley

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a roughly $2 trillion "Build Back Better" bill by a narrow, 220-213 margin Friday.

The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it's unclear whether moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) will agree to some of the provisions included by the House. If the House bill is altered in the Senate, the bill would have to return to the House for another vote before going to the President's desk.

Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL06), along with the rest of the Alabama Republican delegation, voted against the legislation. 

Alabama’s only Democratic Representative in Congress, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL07) voted in favor of the bill.

“A better title for this bill would be the ‘Build Back Broke Act,’” Palmer said. “As the Congressional Budget Office has made clear, the bill will add at least $367 billion to the deficit over the next decade, and it includes a massive tax break for the wealthy that particularly benefits the wealthiest people in blue states."

Palmer also pointed out what he called the "inflationary impact" of the bill.

"The bill will further heighten the burdens of surging energy prices, especially for gasoline, natural gas, propane, and heating oil, which will put severe strains on lower income families and seniors on fixed incomes," Palmer said. "If the inflationary impact of the bill were not enough, it even includes a natural gas tax. It also funds the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents and eliminates the Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited federal funding of abortions. It discriminates against church-run and other faith-based childcare providers, undermines parental control of children’s education, further reduces American energy independence, and would provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.

“Ultimately, because of the process, the American people will not know everything that’s in this bill until it’s too late, because no one has had time to read it. But the portions we have read make it crystal clear that this bill will increase inflation and do great harm to our economy and our fiscal stability. The Democrats persisted in pushing this bill through, despite the warnings of former Obama Administration economists, including Steven Rattner, who said, ‘How could an Administration loaded with savvy political and economic hands have gotten this critical issue so wrong?’ The American people deserve better than this.”

Congressman Jerry Carl (R-AL01) agreed.

“This morning, I voted against the Democrats’ so-called “Build Back Better Act,” because this bill is slap full of horrible policies, including tax increases on hardworking Americans, trillions in new spending, trillions in new debt, 150 new government programs, a massive increase in the size of the IRS, and amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants,” Carl said. “I urge my colleagues in the U.S. Senate to kill this bill and save the American people from trillions of dollars in reckless and irresponsible spending on wasteful programs that will do nothing more than saddle our children and grandchildren with an unbelievable amount of debt.”

U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL03) said the bill will hurt middle class Americans and subsidize Green New Deal initiatives.

“While Americans are struggling this holiday season with rapid inflation, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are trying to ram through President Biden’s $1.5 trillion tax and spend bill – burdening taxpayers,” Rogers said. “President Biden’s socialist scheme will tax middle class Americans and subsidize Green New Deal initiatives while hurting American energy development. This deal also includes amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants while the crisis at our southern border rages on. Their desperation to pass this legislation proves what we’ve known all along – Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are out of touch with Americans."

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL05) said, “I voted 'No' on H.R. 5376, Joe Biden’s massive 2,468-page, multi-trillion spending monstrosity. H.R. 5376 raises taxes, increases welfare, grants amnesty for illegal aliens, authorizes a federal takeover of local public schools, and does who knows what else because it has been crammed through the House without adequate time for Americans, and Congressmen, to properly review it.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL04) issued this statement: “This morning House Democrats passed the Build Back Broke bill. (It now goes to the Senate.)  Americans are already hurting from inflation that’s the highest in a generation. Adding trillions upon trillions of more spending will only make this worse. BBB gives tax cuts to the wealthy, hikes taxes on middle-class families, creates new levels of bureaucracy, and adds hundreds of billions to the already morbidly obese national debt.”

U.S. Representative Barry Moore (R-AL02) said, “I voted NO on the Democrats’ massive multi-trillion dollar reconciliation bill. The dangerous bill advanced by House Democrats today would bring our nation alarmingly closer to the repressive socialist utopia envisioned by power hungry globalists who abhor American exceptionalism and the rights of all individuals.”

As the lone Democrat, Sewell praised the bill.

“Within six weeks of President Biden taking office, we passed the American Rescue Plan to save our economy, crush the pandemic, and deliver critical relief to Americans everywhere,” Sewell said. “Just last week, we delivered the largest investment in our nation’s infrastructure in nearly a century. Now, with the passage of President Biden’s historic Build Back Better Act, House Democrats are delivering on our promise to build an economy that puts working families first.

"The bill will provide affordable health insurance to Alabamians caught in the coverage gap, lower prescription drug costs, create universal pre-K, extend the Child Tax Credit, address the climate crisis and environmental injustice with bold action, and so much more."

The Democrat plan originally outlined a $3.5 trillion bill, later dropping measures including free community college and a program aimed at pushing utilities to use more clean energy from the effort. Programs that some Democrats had worried were imperiled, such as $150 billion for in-home care for elderly and disabled Americans, survived the negotiations.