Failed congressional candidate Harley Rouda has come under fire in recent weeks for his support of the Democrats’ large budget reconciliation package.
Rouda, who is running for California’s 48th District, a seat he held in the last Congress before being replaced by current representative Michelle Steel, traveled last week to Washington D.C., where he joined progressive groups to lobby in support of the bill.
The bill, commonly referred to as the Build Back Better Act, has the support of President Biden and most Congressional Democrats. However, it has been the subject of lengthy negotiations in both the House and Senate. It is currently projected to cost $1.75 trillion and is intended to tackle long-standing left-wing priorities such as climate change.
The current version would raise taxes on higher-income earners, although the initial draft of the bill championed by progressive activists, and blocked by moderate Senate Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, would have included significantly broader tax hikes on individuals and corporations.
Rouda was blasted for his progressive activism in a press release by Representative Steel’s campaign, which attacked him for “supporting a gargantuan tax and spend package that will only exacerbate the struggles families are facing.” By promoting the bill, Steel’s campaign argued, Rouda is “aligning himself with the far-left of his party.”
Rouda, while pushing for higher taxes, has been the subject of controversy involving his own finances. Earlier this year, it was revealed that he violated federal law by failing to disclose a series of stock transactions.
This month, Rouda was also publicly lambasted for taking what many viewed as a poorly considered photo-op on an Orange County beach during the middle of the recent oil spill.