Rep. Stephanie Murphy says she will vote in favor of the Build Back Better Act.
“Tonight, I intend to advance the Build Back Better Act after receiving information from the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Treasury Department that shows the bill is fiscally disciplined,” the Winter Park Democrat said in a statement released Thursday evening.
Ultimately, the vote on the bill was delayed by a marathon speech by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy that lasted until 5:10 a.m. Friday. But Democrats expect to pass the bill on Friday.
Murphy’s posture came after the Congressional Budget Office confirmed the legislation will add a net $367 billion to the national deficit. That scoring arrived days after the CBO said President Joe Biden’s plan to generate revenue through stricter enforcement of tax codes would likely produce about $120 million in the next fiscal year, less than the $400 million boost administration economists argue will be generated.
Murphy, co-leader of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, could prove a critical voice in passing the bill. For months, the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic caucus warred over an aggressive expansion in social services that runs the risk of increasing national debt. Since Democrats hold just an eight-seat majority in the House, and most or all Republicans are expected to vote against the bill, that makes it important for Democrats across the spectrum to vote for the legislation in order for it to pass.
“Despite its flaws, the Build Back Better Act has a lot of positive elements. It contains historic investments to combat climate change, an existential threat to our planet, our country, and the Florida way of life,” Murphy said.
“It includes a historic agreement I helped negotiate to significantly lower the price of prescription drugs for consumers without impairing the ability of America’s scientists and researchers to create new medicines. And the bill contains a number of important provisions to empower families, like extending affordable health care to 425,000 Floridians in the Medicaid coverage gap, establishing universal Pre-K, and extending the enhanced child tax credit for an additional year.”
Murphy expressed some concern about overall costs, but said the bill had too much good included. Ultimately, she reached a reason to vote yes.
“While I continue to have reservations about the overall size of the legislation—and concerns about certain policy provisions that are extraneous or unwise—I believe there are too many badly-needed investments in this bill not to advance it in the legislative process. I will work with my Senate colleagues to improve this bill, and I hope to vote on—and enact—a more streamlined version of the bill once it returns from the Senate,” Murphy said.
“There is a lot of good in this bill, and as a pragmatic Democrat who wants to deliver for my constituents, I am never one to let the perfect become the enemy of the good.”