After weeks of negotiating, pleading and begging, Democrats persuaded 19 RINO GOP members, including Mitch McConnell, on Tuesday, to join the 50 Democrats in the Senate voting for passage of a bill to revamp the nation’s infrastructure.  This is roughly a $1.1 Trillion bipartisan breakthrough on legislation that includes key portions of President Biden’s domestic agenda.

The final vote was 60-30, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell among the Republicans who voted yes.  Vice-President Kamala Harris presided over the final vote.  The legislation, known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, came together after months of talks between a bipartisan group of senators.

The package includes $550 billion in new spending and will address core infrastructure needs.  It will include $110 billion in new funds for roads and bridges, $66 billion for rail, $7.5 bill to build electric vehicle charging stations, $17 billion for ports, $25 billion for airports, $55 billion for clean drinking water, $65 billion in high-speed internet and more.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), proudly proclaimed, “When the Senate is run with an open hand rather than a closed fist, senators can accomplish big things. The effort is ‘decades overdue’ to revitalize the country’s infrastructure. Despite this long road we have taken, we have finally, finally reached the finish line.”  

With the Vice-President presiding in her role as Senate president, it showed the importance of the vote for the Biden administration.  

Biden’s first acknowledgement to the passage came in a tweet saying, “Big news, folks: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal has officially passed the Senate. I hope Congress will send it to my desk as soon as possible so we can continue our work of build back better.”

Biden’s tweet was sending a strong signal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he does not want the House to delay a vote. Pelos has said the House won’t take up the bill until the Senate approves the party-line sending plan this fall. 

The bill will now head to the House, but its fate may be linked to a $3.5 trillion spending plan, an ambitious $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” plan that seeks to improve the nation’s housing, education and health cares as well as take dramatic steps to address the growing threat of climate change. Many are arguing that these items are not and shouldn’t be categorized as infrastructure.

But Democrats want to push this through in a separate process known as reconciliation. That’s the pathway some legislation can be fast-tracked with a simple majority of 51 votes instead of the usual 60 votes typically required.

Some House moderates are already demanding an immediate vote on the measure, even as concerns mount among progressives that the bill is insufficient, underscoring that Pelosi likely faces a delicate balancing act in the weeks ahead.

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Dave Belcher
Dave Belcher
1 year ago

Why is biden referred to as President. He was not elected. None of these politicians were elected. They were appointed by dominion machines.