House passes $ 555 billion infrastructure bill, sends legislation to Biden’s office
The House passed a $ 555 billion infrastructure bill on Friday night, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden, who is expected to quickly sign the measure.
The financing package, which went from 228 to 206 and relied on Republican votes to cross the finish line, will increase government spending on roads, bridges and airports, as well as funding for public transportation, the water and broadband.
Six Democrats voted against the measure and 13 Republicans voted in favor. The Democratic opposition was made up of progressive members who were unhappy that the bill was passed before a $ 1.75 trillion social security spending bill was passed.
The vote gives Biden a victory on a major bipartisan bill, but one that took months to pass through Congress and revealed deep divisions within the Democratic Party. The Senate approved the bill in August before it stalled for months as House progressives clashed with Democratic centrists over a $ 1.75 trillion social safety net measure that could get a vote later this month.
In a statement, Biden hailed Friday’s House vote as “a monumental step forward,” saying the bill will tackle the climate crisis, create jobs and “ease inflationary pressures and cut costs. for working families ”.
On Friday, Biden put further pressure on House Democrats to pass both the infrastructure package and the social policy measure, also known as the Build Back Better bill.
“I ask every member of the House of Representatives to vote yes on these two bills now,” Biden said during the White House remarks. “Send the infrastructure bill to my office, send the Build Back Better bill to the Senate.” Let’s build on amazing economic progress, build on what we’ve already done because it will be such a boost when it happens. “
House leaders then decided to postpone the vote on the safety net bill due to several moderates who insisted that the Congressional Budget Office first see a cost estimate of the legislation for s’ ensure that the invoice is fully paid. Democrats can’t afford to lose more than a handful of defections given their slim majority in the House.
Progressives, however, wanted the infrastructure package to be linked to the social spending plan, fearing that moving infrastructure first would weaken their influence in crafting and promoting the Build Back Better bill.
Democrats are now aiming to vote on the backstop bill before Thanksgiving. Passing the House would send the legislation to the Senate, where it will need the support of the 50 Democrats to find its way to Biden’s office.
On the House floor shortly before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Called the two bills “historic,” saying they would create millions of dollars. jobs and help working families.
In August, the Senate voted 69 to 30 to pass the infrastructure bill, with 19 Republicans joining all Democrats.
The spending program would provide new federal spending for bridges and roads, as well as energy systems and transit programs. It would create a program to build and repair bridges in rural communities, and another to expand Internet connectivity in tribal and rural communities. The bill would further provide funds to protect water supply systems, especially in low-income communities.
The Congressional Budget Office believes the legislation would add $ 256 billion in the federal deficit over a period of 10 years.