WASHINGTON – On Saturday, President Joe Biden celebrated the passage of the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill by stating – just days after his party was beaten – that he was delivering on two key pledges of his campaign: revitalizing the economy and vaccinating the nation.
“Finally! Infrastructure Week!” Biden declared with a big smile from the state cafeteria, subtly digging out his predecessor, Donald Trump, whose White House has consistently promised big investments in the country’s public works but has never garnered any focus or votes.
Just before midnight Friday, the House of Representatives voted 228-206 to finalize the package – the largest single federal investment in infrastructure projects in more than a decade.
But on Saturday, Biden was clearly regretting that his victory did not come days earlier, when it could make a difference in Tuesday’s inter-annual elections, in which his party performed poorly – a result he admitted reflected. public discontent with the democratic process, which seemed to be an eternal dead end.
“I think the American people have made one startling thing clear,” he said, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris. “All the talk about elections and what they mean. They want us to work. “
Biden called the victory he won with the backing of 13 House Republicans, which proved critical due to key departures from his own party, as crucial to getting Americans to work on long-forgotten projects. But he also called it a central element of his strategy to compete with China, from money for charging stations for electric vehicles – an investment that Beijing made many years ago – to providing broadband Internet access to remote and underserved communities.
Over the summer, the president hoped that this turning point would be accompanied by the simultaneous enactment of an even larger social safety net and climate change law, which is the top priority of his party’s progressive wing.
In his latest effort to collect votes for the infrastructure bill, he asked skeptical members of his party on Friday to believe he made quiet deals that would have secured some form of social policy bill in the week of November 15. when Congress is due to return after a week-long hiatus.