Infrastructure week: Senate passes $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Tuesday
The Senate will now begin deliberating over a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that some House Democrats insist needs passed before they’ll vote for the infrastructure bill
The U.S. Senate has passed a $1 trillion bill that will invest in American’s aging infrastructure.
On Tuesday, all 50 Senate Democrats were joined by 19 Republican senators to pass what is being called a bipartisan infrastructure deal. The large bill will fund road and bridge construction, broadband internet, clean water programs and reenforce public utilities against cyber threats, The Associated Press reported.
“Today is a historic day. Senate Democrats and Republicans came together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” Vice President Kamala Harris, who presides over the Senate, said on Twitter Tuesday.
- “It will put people to work in good-paying jobs expanding broadband to every community, fixing lead pipes, building electric school buses, and more,” she said.
Today is a historic day. Senate Democrats and Republicans came together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) August 10, 2021
It will put people to work in good-paying jobs expanding broadband to every community, fixing lead pipes, building electric school buses, and more.
The House still needs to pass the bill before sending it to Resolute Desk for President Joe Biden’s signature. It’s still unclear if Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will be able to unite moderate and progressive Democrats to pass the trillion dollar deal.
- Progressives in the House have threatened to torpedo the infrastructure package if Senate Democrats are unable to rally behind a $3.5 trillion dollar budget resolution to fund additional social programs.
With the infrastructure bill headed to the House, Senators will now begin deliberating over the massive social program resolution, The Hill reported.
- “Senate Democrats are about to take their first step toward yet another reckless, partisan taxing and spending spree,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — who voted for the infrastructure package — said of Democrat’s proposal on Twitter Tuesday.
- “Long day of debate and voting ahead,” he added.
Senate Democrats are about to take their first step toward yet another reckless, partisan taxing and spending spree.— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) August 10, 2021
It will push costs even higher for families. It will shatter President Biden’s promise of no middle-class tax hikes.
Long day of debate and voting ahead.
For weeks, the White House, Congress and the national political media has promised that it was infrastructure week — when the federal government would approve a huge spending bill to improve America’s aging foundations. But, alas, it wasn’t.
Well, it looks like infrastructure week is actually here.
On Sunday evening, the Senate voted 68-29 to end debate on the INVEST in America Act — or, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act. The procedural vote was more than enough to overcome a 60-vote filibuster threshold in the chamber. All Senate Democrats were joined by the 18 Republicans to vote “yea.”
- Utah’s GOP Sens. Mitt Romney — a Republican negotiator for the bill — and Mike Lee split their vote, with Romney voting to move the bill forward and Lee against the cloture motion.
- “We have the opportunity to do something truly special with this bipartisan infrastructure package — we will not let it go to waste,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said late Sunday on Twitter ahead of the vote.
.@SenateDems are still here and still working hard on this lovely Sunday morning in Washington, DC. We have the opportunity to do something truly special with this bipartisan infrastructure package—we will not let it go to waste. https://t.co/hj2MtIFxjE— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) August 8, 2021
What’s in the Senate’s infrastructure bill?
The Senate’s infrastructure package, which could see a final vote as early as Tuesday, is expected to total around $1 trillion in funding for America’s literal foundations.
- “One of the biggest investments of its kind in years, the package promises to unleash billions of dollars to upgrade roads, bridges, broadband internet, water pipes and other public works systems undergirding the nation,” The Associated Press reported.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — a Kentucky Republican who has said in the past that he wold rally the Senate GOP against the Biden administration’s agenda — voted to move the bill forward on Sunday.
- “The American people need roads, bridges, ports, and airports to build their businesses, build their families, and build their lives,” McConnell said, reported The Wall Street Journal. “Republicans and Democrats have radically different visions these days, but both those visions include physical infrastructure that works for our citizens.”
Senators are also expected to vote on at least a dozen amendments to the bill this week, according to Politico.
Will the infrastructure bill pass the Senate and the House?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said Congress’ other chamber would vote on the INVEST Act, but only if the Senate would vote on Democrat’s $3.5 trillion social spending bill, according to The Hill.
House Democrats have a narrow lead and could pass the bill without a single Republican vote, that is, if progressive and moderate Democrats could agree. Moderates have been pressuring the Speaker to pass the INVEST Act without Senate action on massive social programs bills, The Hill reported.
But progressive House Democrats don’t appear ready to back down.
- “If mods want to blow up the infra deal, that’s on them,” said high-profile progressive Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., of moderate Democrats on Twitter.
- She added that bipartisanship doesn’t inherently make something good. “Look at Wall St bailouts,” she said.
If mods want to blow up the infra deal, that’s on them.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 8, 2021
I know this is tough for some to understand, but the US is more than a handful of suburbs- communities outside them aren’t disposable.
And just bc something is “bipartisan” doesn’t mean it’s good. Look at Wall St bailouts. https://t.co/BDTxTEcwG6
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said the Senate will stay in session until the work is finished, Politico reported.
So, an agreement on the infrastructure bill does look possible in the coming days, but if not, maybe infrastructure week will be next week — again.