Sen. John Kennedy Blasts Build Back Better Provisions

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Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) blasted Democrats’ Build Back Better Act on Sunday, claiming the only way “to improve it is with a shredder.”

Asked by host Maria Bartiromo what he expects the Senate will accomplish before the new year, Kennedy replied, “If your question is will Build Back Better be brought before the Senate, I think only Joe Manchin knows answer to that, and perhaps Senator Sinema.”

Both Sens. Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) have expressed concerns about the size and scope of the bill, prompting ongoing negotiations within the Democratic party.

“I think Senator Manchin understands, Maria, in his heart that this is a bad bill, bad social policy, bad economic policy,” Kennedy said. “When I first heard about the Build Back Better Bill, I thought to myself, you know, this is satire, right?”

Kennedy went on to say he “was amazed beyond imagination” to learn of the bill’s components, which include tax credits to fight climate change, free universal pre-K, four weeks of paid leave for U.S. workers, and an expansion of Medicare.

“The only way I know how to improve it is with a shredder,” Kennedy said. “It’s going to fuel inflation. When a Hot Pocket costs you $10, remember, we’re building back better.”

Economists are divided on how much of an impact on inflation the bill may have if it passes in its current form, though many agree the inflationary impacts will be small over the long-term.

Kennedy then criticized two elements of the bill: a provision that grants temporary permission for illegal immigrants who arrived before the beginning of 2011 to stay for five years, provided they pass a background check and pay an administrative fee. The second provision Kennedy singled out was the sliding scale limit on child care costs.

“[The bill would cause a] federal takeover of early childhood education and childcare,” Kennedy said. “Eventually, the federal government is going to want to control what they teach your kids. At least in the short term, a dramatic rise in the cost of childcare.”

“For example, in 2022, if the bill passes, if a couple are making together $70,000 a year…you know what the cost for child care’s going to be for them?” Kennedy continued. “$29,000. That’s out of pocket.”

Kennedy appears to be referencing an estimate from Matt Bruenig, the president of the think tank People’s Policy Project. Bruenig has said costs of unsubsidized care could potentially rise to almost $29,000 for families initially ineligible for federal assistance, due to wage increases for child care workers.

According to CNBC, eligibility for subsidies is open to families would do not earn more than 100% of the state’s median income in 2022; no more than 115% in 2023; 130% in 2024; before all families are eligible in 2025. Per Census data, the median household in the U.S. last year was $67,521.

Watch above, via Fox Business

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