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DeFazio remains hopeful ‘Build Back Better’ Act can pass in the Senate

Tiffany Eckert
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield (file photo from 2019)

Oregon congressman Peter DeFazio says he remains hopeful that the “Build Back Better” Act remains on track for passage in the U.S. Senate.

The Springfield Democrat held an online press conference Monday to talk up the bill, which narrowly passed the House on Friday. DeFazio said he hopes the Senate doesn’t make significant changes to the measure.

“The president is putting on a lot of pressure to keep this thing intact and get it through intact, and we already negotiated the numbers down," said DeFazio "And we think we’re in a good spot.”

The $2 trillion social spending plan includes money for green energy, free preschool for three and four year-olds, as well as paid family leave and other programs. If the Senate approves it with amendments, it would head back to the House for a final vote.

DeFazio said while he's optimistic about the bill's eventual fate, its short term prospects remain a mystery as Democrats have to drum up support from all 50 of their Senate members, as well as try to convince the Senate's parliamentarian that the measure can be approved on a simply majority vote.

"Well, the parliamentarian holds a seance with a dead senator to decide what can go in and out of the bill," said DeFazio. "Right now, she's using the crystal ball, so I can't access it to predict what might happen in the Senate."

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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