But Democrats hope to capitalize on the victory by emphasizing that they have delivered on long-held promises, even though it may take years to see benefits from some of the long-term proposals.
“They see Democrats as a party doing this thing and everyone is trying to start a culture war or attack the FBI,” said Rep. Tim Ryan, Democrat of Ohio. He is running for the Senate. “In the last few months, the contrast has become very clear.”
The bill’s passage involved grueling negotiations for Democrats. With Republicans unanimously opposed, Democrats focused on their ranks and sought to secure a deal that secured key centrist votes, not just to appease left-wingers eager to pass a sweeping plan to overhaul the nation’s social safety net. They refused to fund billions in new spending as inflation soared.
Democrats used the fast-track budget reconciliation process to navigate the bill through both chambers, allowing them to sidestep a filibuster — a technique they used last year with the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. Completely cut out of the process, Republicans have criticized the climate and health legislation for increasing taxes and federal spending, saying it will do little to curb inflation. (Many economists agree that the bill could be Slowing inflationAlthough polite and Not immediately.)
The bill falls well short of the $2.2 trillion Build Back Better Act that Ms. Pelosi advocated. Pass through the house In November. That bill included sweeping changes to the tax code, as well as billions of dollars to create a federal paid leave program, provide support to most families with children, and expand housing, home care and public education. The fate of the social spending plan was initially tied to passage of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, and centrists in the Democratic Party called for the party to scale back.
But the package stalled in the Senate a month later, when Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a centrist Democrat, walked out of the talks, dismissing it as excessive. Although negotiations between Mr. Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, continued this spring, they broke down again last month, leaving Democrats struggling to pass a health care package alone.