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Build Back Better Act Gets Mixed Reviews From Maryland Officials

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The U.S. House of Representatives' passage of President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act is getting mixed reviews from Maryland's elected officials.

In a statement Friday, Gov. Larry Hogan slammed the social safety net legislation, saying it will hurt the American economy, and called for the U.S. Senate to reject it outright.

Yet Democratic lawmakers including Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin urged the Senate to pass it.

The $2.2 trillion legislation, which passed Friday, has been billed by the president as a way to reduce the national deficit and help millions of families with child tax credits, paid family leave and health care. It's been criticized by Republicans for its price tag, among other reasons.

It's unclear whether the legislation will make it past the Senate.

The Congressional Budget Office, which is nonpartisan, estimates the bill will add $367 billion to the national deficit over the next decade, though that estimate did not consider additional IRS revenue, according to CBS News.

Gov. Hogan said Maryland's economy has thrived over the past seven years because of tax cuts and investments in public infrastructure, among other factors. He called the Build Back Better Act a "reckless grab bag of massive tax hikes, Democratic Party wish list items and handouts to special interests."

"During normal times, this legislation would be a bad idea," the governor said. "During a time when our nation's economic recovery is stalling and inflation is already skyrocketing, this bill is a complete disaster for struggling families and small businesses in Maryland and across the country."

Sen. Van Hollen, meanwhile, praised the legislation's passage.

"The House just took one BIG step forward in making our #BuildBackBetterAct law," Van Hollen said. "Now it's time for the Senate to get this historic bill over the finish line to deliver expanded job opportunities and daily cost savings straight to MDers & the American people."

Sen. Cardin sees the legislation as a victory for working families.

"The House just passed the #BuildBackBetterAct which means mean lower costs for working families in Maryland, universal Pre-K, action on climate, and JOBS. Let's get this done," Cardin tweeted.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, celebrated the House's vote.

"I was proud to bring the historic Build Back Better Act to the Floor to deliver affordable child care, universal pre-K, lower health care costs, and address the climate crisis #ForThePeople," Hoyer said.

U.S. Rep. David Trone said the legislation will make life easier on Maryland residents.

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