Build Back Better Act Passes Without any Nebraska Representatives' Votes

Nov. 19, 2021, 10 a.m. ·

Don Bacon speaking of the  Floor of the House in a dark suit with leather chairs behind him and a microphone in front of him.
Rep. Don Bacon, just like all other House Republicans, voted no on the spending legislation. (Photo courtesy C-SPAN)

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Despite its passage in the House of Representatives, all three Nebraska representatives voted against President Biden’s social spending bill Friday morning.

The House passed the $2 trillion Build Back Better Act on nearly party lines – with just one Democrat voting against it. It was a 220-213 vote.

“I think it's a bad bill," said Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02). "I wish it didn't pass the House, but I'm a half-glass-full-type person. This bill will not survive intact in the Senate.”

He said he's hopeful Senate Democrats, like Joe Manchin, will force some changes to this current bill or kill it all together. Bacon’s problem with the bill lies in the amount of spending and on what.

“Our nation does not desire to be a giant welfare state with cradle-to-grave government oversight controlling our lives,” Bacon said on the House floor earlier this week.

The bill includes a wide array of Democratic social priorities – including free preschool, more affordable housing and plans to address climate change. Bacon said in his floor speech he didn't support other portions of the bill like government payouts for those crossing the border illegally, beefing up IRS staff and raising taxes on middle-class Americans.

“The authors of this legislation have either misjudged or ignored where the country is at on these issues,” he said.

Rep. Adrian Smith (NE-03) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01) also voted against the bill.

“Our nation is in the midst of a workforce crisis, an inflation crisis, a supply chain crisis, and a border crisis,” Smith said in a written statement. “Rather than govern and confront these challenges head on with policies that get Americans back to work, Democrats have pushed through new spending that makes these problems worse, especially for the individuals who can afford it the least.”

President Biden’s spending package now heads to the Senate.

This is a developing story. Check later for updates.