U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) says that the passage of the $2 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) bill is a loss against “President Biden’s socialist agenda” in a statement to the press Friday. The initiative passed in the House of Representatives without the support of a single Republican.
Malliotakis was one of 13 Republicans who crossed party lines earlier this month and voted for the $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Two local Democrats – U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/Queens) and Jamaal Bowman (D-Bronx/Westchester) voted against the bipartisan bill.
“I’m confident we will be successful in working with our Senate partners to stop this dead on arrival bill from becoming law,” Malliotakis wrote. What makes it DOA, she says, is the Byrd Rule. It’s a provision that stops the Senate from considering “extraneous matter” as part of a reconciliation bill. According to a summary of the rule, Byrd’s rule is meant to limit the inclusion of this matter and streamline the reconciliation process.
However, deciding what is “extraneous” is up to the discretion from the Parliamentarian of the U.S. Senate, who invokes this rule. It can also be waived with a certain number of votes.
“In this case, extending President Trump’s budget would be most appropriate. Congress should not be rushing legislation that has dire consequences for our nation and its future generations,” Malliotakis said.
The congresswoman then goes on to list parts of the bill that she finds unacceptable: She says that BBB would make it easier for the IRS to target taxpayers because it removes the requirement that each penalty assessment be approved by a supervisor.
It includes a tax on natural gas that could increase utility bills, and increases OSHA penalties for unsafe workplaces. The latter, Malliotakis says, creates legislative backing for Biden’s vaccine mandates.
She also is framing Biden’s tax increases for high-earning individuals as crushing for small business owners.
“The American people have made it clear that they don’t want more government control, expansion of the IRS, vaccine mandates, higher taxes, amnesty, or benefits going to those in the country illegally,” she said.