The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill pushed by President Joe Biden, The New York Times reports.
The bill passed by a vote of 69 to 30, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 18 other Republicans joining Democrats despite criticism and primary threats from former President Donald Trump.
“This historic investment in infrastructure is what I believe you, the American people, want, what you’ve been asking for for a long, long time,” Biden said after the vote, praising Republicans for showing “a lot of courage.”
McConnell, who had vowed to stop Biden’s agenda, said the president deserves “credit” for getting the deal done.
“I was proud to support today’s historic bipartisan infrastructure deal and prove that both sides of the political aisle can still come together around common-sense solutions,” he said.
The bill repurposes half of its funding from existing appropriations and provides about $550 billion in new funds, which will fund road, bridge, and waterway projects, airports, trains, high-speed internet access, and other projects.
House moderates want quick vote:
The vote sets up a showdown in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi has vowed to pass the bipartisan bill in tandem with a $3.5 trillion budget bill Senate Democrats intend to pass with a simple majority later this year.
A group of eight House moderates called on Pelosi to instead hold an immediate vote on the bipartisan legislation.
"We must bring this bipartisan infrastructure bill to the House floor for a standalone vote. This once-in-a-century investment deserves its own consideration, without regard to other legislation,” the group said.
“After years of waiting, we cannot afford unnecessary delays to finally deliver on a physical infrastructure package,” they continued. “As we continue to recover from the pandemic, the American people are counting on us to drive real results for them in every single Congressional district.”
The leaders of the House Blue Dog Coalition also called on Pelosi to schedule an immediate vote, saying they “remain opposed to any effort to unnecessarily delay consideration of these critical infrastructure investments, which will create good-paying jobs, keep American businesses competitive, and grow our nation’s economy.”
On the flip side, the Congressional Progressive Caucus vowed that most of its nearly 100 members would oppose the bipartisan bill unless it is paired with a large spending bill that meets their priorities.
The group said in a letter to Pelosi and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer that members “would commit to withholding” their vote on the bipartisan bill “until the Senate has passed budget reconciliation legislation deemed acceptable by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”
“We therefore encourage you to continue coordinating closely between the two chambers, collaborating with the White House, and engaging without our caucus so that the reconciliation framework reflects our shared and longstanding priorities, and that the Senate first adopts this reconciliation packages before House consideration of any bipartisan infrastructure legislation.”