Nov 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats plow ahead with social spending bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seen speaking during a news conference.
Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democratic leaders say they're undeterred by a poor showing in Tuesday’s elections, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing steps to advance President Biden's $1.75 trillion social spending package.

Driving the news: Pelosi announced in a letter to House Democrats new text for the bill, which will be presented to the House Rules Committee on Wednesday, a step toward an eventual vote in the House. She also said it will include a provision for paid family leave.

Between the lines: In the letter, Pelosi wrote: “We must strive to find common ground in the legislation.”

  • "Today is another momentous day in our historic effort to make the future better for the American people," which underscores that this is a concrete step forward for [the Build Back Better Agenda].
  • Pelosi is proposing four weeks of paid family and medical leave, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who has lobbied moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) hard on allowing paid leave to be included in the bill, said in a statement.

What they're saying: Asked if Tuesday's results, in which Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost decisively to Republican Glenn Youngkin in Virginia's gubernatorial race, would change the agenda in Congress, Pelosi replied bluntly: “No.”

  • In New Jersey, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy also was in a closer-than-expected re-election campaign.
  • House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) echoed that sentiment, telling Punchbowl News that McAuliffe’s loss “just reinforces the fact that we need to get these things done.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Gillibrand's statement.

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