After months of delay, Parliament adopts infrastructure law: NPR

President Biden enters the U.S. Capitol building with House President Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., For a Oct. 28 meeting with House Democrats on negotiations on the party’s domestic spending.

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President Biden enters the U.S. Capitol building with House President Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., For a Oct. 28 meeting with House Democrats on negotiations on the party’s domestic spending.

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

After months of tense negotiations, the House of Representatives has passed a $ 1 trillion two-partisan infrastructure law, 228-206, that meets high priority for President Biden’s domestic agenda and cements a political victory for Democrats.

It went Friday night largely along party lines, with 13 Republicans joining 215 Democrats in support of the law. But the bill also saw six Democrats vote against because a major social spending measure did not also secure sufficient support for a vote on the floor Friday.

The late-night referendum on infrastructure followed an agreement between factions of the Democratic Party as moderate members issued further assurances that they would pass the larger Build Back Better Act when it comes to the vote.

“We commit to voting for the Build Back Better Act, in its current form … as soon as we receive fiscal information from the Congressional Budget Office – but under no circumstances later than the week of November 15,” a key group on fem moderate – Reps. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Kathleen Rice, DN.Y., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore. – said in the statement.

Their statement said that if the CBO result is not in line with the White House framework, the group says they “remain committed to working to resolve any discrepancies to enact Build Back Better legislation.”

Shortly afterwards, the chairman of the progressive caucus, rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., A statement in which they said they had agreed with “our colleagues … to advance both parts of President Biden’s legislative agenda.” She said they would vote for the Infrastructure Act and a legislative rule for the Build Back Better Act.

Biden was involved in the final negotiations and issued a statement Friday night urging all members to support the final adoption of the Infrastructure Act. He added that he was “confident that Parliament will pass the Build Back Better Act during the week of 15 November.”

The Infrastructure Bill, which passed the Senate in August with strong support from two parties, includes nearly $ 550 billion in new spending over what Congress already planned to allocate to infrastructure over the next eight years. It includes significant investment in roads, bridges, railways and broadband internet.

The plan will be funded in a number of ways, including the recycling of unused emergency aid from the COVID-19 pandemic and the strengthening of tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the bill will add approx $ 256 billion for expected deficits over the next 10 years.

Road to passage

The bill’s journey from the Senate to Biden’s desk has been long and tumultuous.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Intended to bring it and the major bill to the vote on Friday. But her plans collapsed after a handful of moderate members insisted the spending package was given a score by the CBO.

“Some members want more clarification or validation of figures that have been presented … that it is fully paid for and we respect that request,” Pelosi told reporters late Friday afternoon.

Progressive House Democrats had for months insisted that any vote on the two-tier infrastructure law be tied to the broader social spending package, for fear that some moderate Democrats would delay or even withhold support for the larger package if the infrastructure law was first passed.

Shortly after Pelosi’s announcement, Jayapal said in a statement: “If our six [holdout] Colleagues will still be waiting for a CBO score, we agree to give them that time – after which we can vote on both bills together. ”

Several lawmakers and the president worked to get progressives to agree to an infrastructure vote. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., Member of the progressive caucus, confirmed that Biden called and spoke with members of the caucus. “He works very hard to get everyone there and encouraged us to work in the same spirit,” he said. Huffman added that Biden was working to get the progressive wing some assurances and commitments.

There appeared to be renewed pressure to pass both bills at the same time after Democrats suffered a major loss in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia.

Late. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Told reporters after the election that Democrats “blew up the timing” by not passing infrastructure legislation earlier, which would have given Democrats a legislative victory to campaign on.

Political provisions

Build Back Better Expenditure Package originally had a $ 3.5 trillion price tag. Democrats chose to use a process called budget voting to send the package to the Senate without any Republican support. Given the extremely narrow margin in the House, any senator who keeps the caucus with the Democrats must be there for the bill to survive.

It turned out to be difficult, taking moderate Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona expressed concern about the size and scope of the package.

Manchin said he could only support a $ 1.5 trillion package, which prompted Democrats to cut back down on the multibillion-dollar package to about $ 1.75 trillion.

The sleek spending package includes universal pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds, investment in affordable housing, premium cuts under the Affordable Care Act, major investments targeting climate change and an extra year of the extended child tax deduction.

Here’s a closer look at what’s in the infrastructure bill that’s now on its way to Biden’s desk.

Transport

  • Roads, bridges, major projects: DKK 110 billion
  • Passenger and freight trains: $ 66 billion
  • Public transportation: $ 39 billion
  • Airports: $ 25 billion
  • Port infrastructure: $ 17 billion
  • Transport safety programs: $ 11 billion
  • Electric cars: $ 7.5 billion
  • Zero and low-emission buses and ferries: DKK 7.5 billion
  • Revitalization of local communities: 1 billion

Other infrastructure

  • Broadband: $ 65 billion
  • Power infrastructure: $ 73 billion
  • Clean drinking water: $ 55 billion
  • Resistance and Western water storage: $ 50 billion
  • Removal of pollution from water and soil: $ 21 billion

NPR’s Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

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