Oklahoma’s five-member congressional delegation joined the loud Republican chorus denouncing the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better package passed almost entirely along party lines by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday morning.
“There’s not much that hasn’t already been said about this absolute train wreck of a bill,” said 1st District Rep. Kevin Hern. “This bill is not only bad policy, it’s dangerous.”
While the 2,000-page budget reconciliation bill is the source of furious passion on all sides, it faces an uncertain fate in the Senate even though it will not require the usual 60 votes to bring it to the floor.
Supporters say the bill would benefit working- and middle-class Oklahomans by extending the temporary $300-per-month child care tax credits and offering additional child care assistance, expanding free public preschool and cutting taxes for low-wage workers.
It also includes substantial investments in clean energy.
“President Biden and Democrats took a monumental step to once again deliver for the middle class,” said Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairwoman Alicia Andrews.
“No thanks to a single Republican in the House, including our own Oklahoma congressional delegation, the Build Back Better Act will lower costs for working families, create good-paying jobs and cut taxes.”
Opponents contend that it is inflationary and too expensive and will fuel unacceptable growth in the federal bureaucracy.
“This bill changes the foundation of our country,” 2nd District Congressman Markwayne Mullin said. “Each provision included in this legislation is an item from the far-left’s socialist wish list. At a price tag of $1.75 trillion, plus the $1.2 trillion so-called infrastructure package, this level of spending will saddle Americans with debt for generations to come.
“Our country is already suffering from record high inflation — spending trillions more is the last thing we should be doing.”
Hern called it the largest expansion of the U.S. government in history.
“It amounts to a giant, unprecedented leap towards socialism, abandoning American job creators and leaving hardworking taxpayers to cover the bill,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma’s 3rd District said the bill does not address pressing issues on which Republicans and Democrats largely agree.
“Instead of addressing our country’s urgent crises — like skyrocketing inflation or a crippled supply chain — (congressional) Democrats are instead seizing on the opportunity to ram through a transformational agenda that millions of Americans never asked for nor wanted,” Lucas said.
“But as bad as this bill is, what is most telling is what this bill fails to address, and that is the current emergencies actually facing our nation,” said the 4th District’s Rep. Tom Cole. “Democrats continue to do nothing to deal with the border crisis, nothing to address rising inflation, nothing to help small businesses get their workers back and nothing to address the looming threats America and our allies face abroad.”
On Twitter, 5th District Congresswoman Stephanie Bice referred to her earlier comments on the House floor, when she blamed President Joe Biden and Democratic policies for higher food costs at Thanksgiving time.
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