House adopts 'rule' for future vote on mammoth Biden social spending bill

Earlier in the evening, House lawmakers voted to pass the bipartisan infrastructure package

House lawmakers voted 221-213 to pass the procedural "rule" for President Biden’s expansive $1.75 trillion social spending bill late Friday night, setting up a vote on the massive measure that could result in House passage of some $3 trillion in new spending during November alone.

Earlier in the evening, House lawmakers voted to pass President Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. The vote to adopt the rule for the social spending bill, which will run under "reconciliation" rules that require a simple majority to pass the Senate, clears the way for Democratic leaders to bring the legislation to the House floor in the near future. 

Plans to vote on the $1.75 trillion social spending bill on Friday night, alongside the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, were scuttled after moderate Democrats demanded the Congressional Budget Office "score" the legislation to provide more clarity on its financial implications.


Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, emerges as the group meets behind closed doors after the Democratic leadership abruptly postponed an expected House vote on a $1.85 trillion social and environment measure, (AP Newsroom)

Progressives agreed to adopt the "rule" and vote in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill after a group of five moderates pledged to vote for the "Build Back Better Act" as it is currently written no later than the week of Nov. 15.

Both House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and President Biden say they are confident the House will pass the spending bill before Thanksgiving. However, key moderate holdouts in the Senate, including Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W-Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., have yet to publicly endorse the bill.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives to lead Democrats in advancing President Joe Biden's $1.85 trillion-and-growing domestic policy package, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite / AP Newsroom)

The altered voting plan for the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the spending bill "rule" initially drew criticism from members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The group’s members maintained for weeks that they would not support the infrastructure bill unless it was brought up for consideration at the same time as the spending bill, which includes funding for social and climate programs they favor. 


WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol building on October 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. McCarthy criticized Democrats continued struggle (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Biden and other Democratic leaders engaged in last-minute negotiations with the Progressive Caucus to broker a truce and allow both measures to advance.