Delay Continues on the Build Back Better Bill

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Congressman Kurt Schrader takes questions from Journalism students at SSC.

Austin Sousa, Senior Reporter

The pending Build Back Better bill has been established as a keystone for President Biden amidst his lowest approval rate since taking office. The ambitious, sweeping bill would theoretically create millions of jobs through clean-energy investments, combat growing climate change issues, and approve large amounts of funding to housing, education, and healthcare to balance out the disastrous effects that COVID-19 has had on working-class Americans. However, originally reported at 3.5 trillion dollars, the enormity of the deal has caused issues with signing among Senate Democrats. A probable casualty in an attempt to cut the price will be tuition-free community college. The free community college has been a major talking point for Biden until now, but with a reduced budget, it seems likely among senators that it will be removed in order to appease price objections.

In particular, Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia has proposed a $1.5 trillion bill in place of the original deal but has indicated that he is open to a higher limit for it. Manchin also heavily opposes a major part of the climate change programs that the bill would introduce, which would accelerate the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy; West Virginia is a top producer for coal in the U. S, and Manchin founded a coal brokerage firm in 1988.

As of now, no signal of agreement has been shown, but optimism remains high among Democrats, with many indicators pointing towards November to be the month that legislation is established. However, urgency levels are varied between the White House and senators. The situation and bill itself will remain dynamic until legislation is approved.

Oregon’s Congressional delegation includes Fifth District Congressman Kurt Schrader, who represents those who live in the North Clackamas School District.  He has indicated he will likely support the bill.