After months of delay, House passes infrastructure bill: NPR


President Biden walks into the United States Capitol with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., For an October 28 meeting with House Democrats on negotiations on home spending bills party.

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Samuel Corum / Getty Images

President Biden walks into the United States Capitol with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., For an October 28 meeting with House Democrats on negotiations on home spending bills party.

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

After months of tense negotiations, the House of Representatives passed a $ 1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, 228-206, addressing a major priority on President Biden’s national agenda and consolidating a political victory for the democrats.

The measure includes significant investments in roads, bridges, railways and high-speed internet.

It happened late Friday night largely along the party lines, with 13 republicans join 215 Democrats in favor of the legislation.

But the bill also saw six Progressive Democrats vote against it, as a larger social spending measure failed to garner enough support for a floor vote on Friday.

Last minute deals

The late-night infrastructure vote followed a deal between factions in the Democratic Party, as moderate members gave new assurances they would pass the larger spending bill when it comes to the government. vote.

“We pledge to vote for the Build Back Better Act, in its current form … as quickly as we receive tax information from the Congressional Budget Office – but by no means later than the week of November 15 – in line with the top revenue lines . and investments “under the White House, a key group of five moderates – Reps Ed Case, D-Hawaii, Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Kathleen Rice, DN.Y. , and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore. – said in a statement.

The group added that if the CBO’s score is inconsistent with the White House framework, they “remain committed to working to resolve any discrepancies in order to pass Build Back Better legislation.”

Shortly thereafter, Progressive Caucus Chairperson Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. Released a statement saying her caucus had reached an agreement with “our colleagues … to advance both strands of the President’s legislative agenda. Biden ”.

Biden was involved in the final negotiations, issuing a statement Friday night urging all House Democrats to support final passage of the infrastructure bill. He added that he was “confident that during the week of November 15, the House will pass the Build Back Better Act.”

The infrastructure bill, which was passed by the Senate in August with strong bipartisan backing, includes nearly $ 550 billion in new spending above what Congress already planned to allocate to infrastructure over the past eight years. coming years.

The plan will be funded in a number of ways, including reallocating unspent emergency relief funds from the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies. The CBO has predicted that the bill will add about $ 256 billion to forecast deficits over the next 10 years.

Passage way

The journey of Bill from the Senate to Biden’s office has been a long and tumultuous one.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Intended to put it, along with the larger bill, to a vote on Friday. But his plans fell apart after a handful of moderate members insisted that the entire spending receive a CBO score.

“Some members want more clarification or validation of the numbers that have been put forward… that he is fully paid, and we are honoring that request,” Pelosi told reporters on Friday afternoon.

Progressive House Democrats had insisted for months that any votes on the infrastructure bill be tied to the broader social spending program, lest some moderate Democrats delay or even refuse to support the infrastructure bill. infrastructure if the infrastructure bill is passed first.

But on Friday night, after the group of moderates released a statement expressing their commitment to eventually vote for the social spending bill, Jayapal announced that his caucus would vote on the infrastructure bill, essentially ceding l ‘group’s initial requirement to vote only on the two bills in tandem.

Some Democratic lawmakers criticized the party for failing to pass the bill before Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia, where Democrats ultimately suffered a major loss.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Told reporters after the election Democrats “blew up the timing” by failing to pass the legislation sooner, which would have given Democrats a legislative victory to campaign on .

Policy provisions

The Rebuild Better Expense Package originally had a price tag of $ 3.5 trillion. Democrats chose to use a process called budget reconciliation to pass the package in the Senate without any Republican support. Given the chamber’s extremely narrow margin, every senator who caucuses with Democrats must be on board for the bill to survive.

It proved difficult, with moderate senses Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona voicing concerns about the size and scope of the package.

Manchin said he could only back a $ 1.5 trillion package, prompting Democrats to cut back the multi-trillion dollar package to about $ 1.75 trillion.

Lean spending program includes universal kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds, investments in affordable housing, premium cuts under the Affordable Care Act, major investments to tackle climate change and an additional year for the extended child. tax credit.

Here’s a closer look at the content of the infrastructure bill that is now heading to Biden’s office.


  • Roads, bridges, major projects: $ 110 billion
  • Passenger and freight rail: $ 66 billion
  • Public transit: $ 39 billion
  • Airports: $ 25 billion
  • Port infrastructure: $ 17 billion
  • Transportation safety programs: $ 11 billion
  • Electric vehicles: $ 7.5 billion
  • Zero or low emission buses and ferries: $ 7.5 billion
  • Revitalization of communities: $ 1 billion

Other infrastructures

  • Broadband: $ 65 billion
  • Electrical infrastructure: $ 73 billion
  • Drinking water: $ 55 billion
  • Western water resilience and storage: $ 50 billion
  • Elimination of water and soil pollution: $ 21 billion

NPR’s Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

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