Democrat Jared Golden votes against Biden’s Build Back Better bill in the House

President Joe Biden and many Democrats in Congress have pursued a radically progressive agenda this year that’s placed some of the more moderate members of the party who are facing tough re-election battles in an untenable position.

Now, one of those moderates, Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), has bucked the party by standing alone as the only House Democrat to vote against Biden’s $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act, Fox Business reports.

The bill still passed the Democrat-controlled House on a narrow vote early Friday morning and now heads to the Senate, where it is likely to undergo significant changes and where its ultimate fate remains uncertain due to objections by moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

Tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy

Rep. Golden issued a press release Thursday night explaining his opposition to the massive domestic spending bill. His concerns were primarily centered around provisions granting tax breaks to the wealthy, but he also suggested excessive spending from Congress would worsen problems his constituents are facing with regard to inflation.

“I will be voting no tonight, but that doesn’t mean I will oppose a final version of this bill if some meaningful changes are made to this legislation,” the congressman announced.

Golden specifically cited a provision lifting the $10,000 cap on federal deductions for state and local taxes (SALT), which purportedly would cost around $280 billion in lost revenue and would primarily benefit the wealthy.

“Many of my colleagues argue this major line item is worth accepting to pass the rest of the bill,” the Democrat congressman said. “I disagree: the SALT giveaway in the Build Back Better Act is larger than the child care, pre-K, healthcare or senior care provisions of the bill. As a result, the legislation would give a millionaire nearly 20 times more money than it would provide a low-income family through the Child Tax Credit.”

Federal spending and rising inflation

Speaking on the issue of inflation, Golden pointed to massive federal spending over the past year as a factor in driving prices even higher and creating an economic crunch for his constituents back home in Maine.

“The federal government has pumped $6 trillion into the economy in the last 18 months,” the congressman said. “Much of that spending was needed, but as I have pointed out, the most recent stimulus spending was larger than necessary and came too soon in the wake of the bipartisan $900 billion COVID relief package from December 2020.”

He added: “Many Mainers are feeling the consequences of this in the form of rising prices every time they go to the grocery store or refill their gas tank. While a variety of factors contribute to inflation, Congress can’t wash its hands of the role it has played.”

Local ABC affiliate WMTW reported that Rep. Golden was the only Democrat to cross the aisle and join Republicans in voting against the House version of the Build Back Better social spending bill, which is being backed by President Biden and pushed by progressives.

“No, I don’t feel lonely. I feel hopeful that in the U.S. Senate there’ll be some Democratic senators that will do the right thing and fix this,” Golden said when asked about his solo stance. “I’m OK with getting rid of the cap on state and local deductions for middle-class households, and there’s a way to do that and target that at them.”

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