Build Back Better Act Faces Significant Roadblocks

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Jan 6, 2022
The White House spent part of the holiday recess calling Democratic Senators in an effort to get the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, President Biden’s broad social spending package, back on track after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) came out against the legislation late last month. Manchin publicly announced his opposition to the $2 trillion legislation on Fox News Sunday and later in a statement saying he could not vote for a bill that would so dramatically reshape American society when the country faces such a “staggering debt” and high inflation.

The BBB Act needs the support of every Senate Democrat and Independent who caucuses with Democrats in order to secure its passage. Passage is not possible without Manchin’s support since the legislation faces unanimous Republican opposition in the evenly divided Senate. Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-AZ) support is also a concern for the White House. She has raised concerns about the BBB Act’s size and scope and has not committeed to voting for it. White House and congressional negotiations for a smaller package that can gain the approval of all Senate Democrats remain ongoing.

Impact on General Dentistry: The House-passed BBB Act and the current Senate framework ommitted initial proposals to expand Medicare to include dental benefits. AGD members played an important role in getting the proposed expansion removed from the legislation by raising concern with lawmakers. AGD continues to monitor legislative efforts to expand Medicare to include dental benefits.