By Brandon Moseley
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL07) released a statement Friday following her meeting with President Joe Biden (D) and House Democrats and the unveiling of the Build Back Better Framework.
“I was thrilled to hear President Biden unveil his Build Back Better Famework during our meeting (Friday) morning,” Sewell said. “I stand in full support of both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package and the Build Back Better reconciliation bill.
“Both of these bills will help Alabama's Seventh District with transformational provisions that would close the Medicaid coverage gap, expand access to child care, support home health care, extend the Child Tax Credit, create jobs, and so much more. Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we will come together to pass both of these bills For The People!”
Opposition to the president's legislative package comes from both Republicans, who say it adds to the national debt and encourages people to stay out of the workforce by providing generous benefits, particularly robust tax credits, and the progressive wing of the Democrat Party, which believes it doesn't go far enough.
“This is the slowest economic growth we've seen in a year, but this week, Democrats have prioritized ramming through a multi-trillion dollar spending bill,” said Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover). “It's reckless and irresponsible.”
The bill was not put on the House floor on Thursday, not because Republicans opposed it in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, but because the progressive faction of the Democrats in the House felt it did not go far enough to fundamentally transform America. Progressives say that they will not support Biden’s infrastructure bill without also passing the $3.5 trillion Democratic Party social spending priority package. Democrat moderates Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kirsten Sinema (D-Arizona) have been non-committal at best on supporting the second bigger bill.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) is the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She reiterated in a Thursday afternoon statement that members of her group would not back one bill without the other.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), who is a prominent member of the Progressive Caucus and “the squad," told reporters she was “a ‘hell no’” on advancing infrastructure without certainty on the social spending bill.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is expected to bring the bill to the floor of the House for a vote this week.
“The Build Back Better Framework — which is, God willing, going to be voted on as early as sometime this coming week — that I announced on Thursday includes, for the first time ever, several billion dollars to help strengthen the supply chains to make sure we have access to everything we need,” President Biden told reporters Sunday. “And it’s going to give workers and folks making all these products just a little bit of breathing room. The Build Back Better will also — is going to make it easier for them to afford everything from childcare while they are at work, for their kids; two years of free high-quality preschool.”
Sewell is in her sixth term representing Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.
(This report includes original reporting by The Hill.)