Capitol Correspondence - 11.02.21

Congress Releases Build Back Better Framework but Stalls on Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

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On Thursday, the White House released its framework for the $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation bill, the Build Back Better Act. The framework includes a provision of $150 billion for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), which is consistent with the text of the bill Congress also released later on Thursday.

The timing for releasing the Build Back Better Act framework was intended to ensure that progressive House Democrats would be satisfied with the deal made on the Build Back Better Act and vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which had a deadline for passage in the House of October 31. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, was unable to get all Democrats in line to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Instead, the House passed a short-term funding bill for surface transportation programs, which is set to expire on December 3—the same deadline Congress must meet for passing the FY 2022 appropriations bills and legislation to increase the debt ceiling.