After weeks of debate, the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion White House-backed infrastructure bill on Tuesday morning, although it is unclear whether the bill will move forward in the Democrat-controlled House.
The measure, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, was hashed out by a bipartisan group of senators and the administration of President Joe Biden. The bill, which passed 69-30, would include $550 billion in new federal spending over five years.
The 2,700-page long bill envisions $110 billion for roads, bridges and major projects; provides some $66 billion to passenger and freight rail; $65 billion to rebuild the electric grid; $65 billion to expand broadband Internet lines; $55 billion for water pipes, including replacement of lead pipes; even more.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) said of the bill.
While some have described the bill as “bipartisan,” several prominent Republicans have vociferously opposed it, claiming it would give Democrats victory in Congress before the 2022 midterm election season. Former President Donald Trump re-elected Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who voted in favor of the measure to give the bill his blessing, publicly questioning the leadership ability of Kentucky Republicans.
“He’s working so hard to get Biden to win, now he’ll go for the big one, including the biggest tax hike in our nation’s history,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday. said in the statement. bill.
Republicans who supported the infrastructure bill or helped negotiate its passage have said it needed to show that the GOP could achieve consensus in passing bipartisan legislation, rather than simply being an opposition party.
The 19 Republicans who voted with the Democrats included Sans Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Deb Fischer, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, John Howen, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mike Risch Huh. Pat Romney, Dan Sullivan, Thom Tillis, Bill Cassidy, Mike Crapo, Kevin Kramer and Roger Wicker.
Biden and Democrats also proposed a $3.5 trillion spending package and vowed to pass it through budget reconciliation, requiring a mere 51 votes. On Monday, Democrats unveiled the massive spending measure, though it’s unclear whether some of the provisions will be approved by the Senate lawmaker’s office or there will be enough centrist Democrats to support it.
In recent comments to the media, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package would not be taken up in the House until the Senate can pass the $3.5 trillion bill – called “human infrastructure”. tandem
During his floor speech on Tuesday, Schumer said that after the infrastructure vote, the chamber will work on a massive spending measure.
“I am confident that the Senate will take the first major step toward achieving our second goal,” he said.
A summary of the bill released Monday by Schumer’s office shows that the $3.5 trillion bill includes free community college tuition, money to create a so-called Citizens Climate Corps to keep young Americans close to them, the expansion of Obamacare, Universal Pre-Kindergarten will be included. 3- and 4-year-olds, long-term care for older adults, Medicare expansion, money for homeowners to repossess their assets to suit climate regulations, and more.
The bill also contains provisions related to illegal immigration. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), head of the Senate Budget Committee, said it would provide a “path to citizenship” for “undocumented people,” according to a separate statement released by his office on Monday.
Republicans, including McConnell, have sharply criticized the big bill and Democrats’ proposed strategy of using reconciliation without any GOP support.
In remarks on Monday, McConnell said the GOP would not support a plan to raise the US debt limit if Democrats attempt to pass the measure through reconciliation without any bipartisan support.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times