The Biden Administration’s colossal $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed by the United States Senate yesterday afternoon in a final
By Matt Hickman
The Biden Administration’s colossal $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed by the United States Senate yesterday afternoon in a final vote of 69-30 after months of heated debate, tense negotiations, (increasingly rare) instances of across-the-aisle unanimity, and no shortage of infuriating conservations about what exactly “infrastructure” is. Nineteen Republicans bucked former President Trump, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to vote in favor of its passage despite being subject to threats and name-calling from the ex-president.
Although the passage of the sweeping, 2,000-page-plus bill marks a resounding win for President Joe Biden and senators from both parties, it isn’t too early to retire those Trump-era Infrastructure Week jokes quite yet: The bill—formally known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—now must return to the House of Representatives for a final vote, which will not happen until later this month when representatives return from an abbreviated recess. Even then, it faces an uncertain future and a potentially drawn-out path to becoming law as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not bring the bill to vote until the Senate also passes a sprawling, Democratic-only $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that includes funding for top-of-list progressive priorities like combatting climate change, Medicare expansion, universal preschool, and more. Only when—and presumably if—it is passed by the House, the blockbuster bill will then land on Biden’s desk to be signed.
Among other things, the package, which was first unveiled in March with a $2 trillion price tag, calls for: $550 billion in new federal spending over the next five years including $110 billion in repairing and replacing the country’s crumbling roads and bridges, $66 billion dedicated to bolstering freight and passenger rail networks, $65 billion to shore up the increasingly vulnerable electric grid, $65 billion to improve broadband internet access, $55 billion for improving aging water infrastructure including the replacement of lead pipes, $39 billion to expand and enhance public transit systems, $25 billion for airports, and $7.5 billion to establish a national network for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
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