According to President Joe Biden, the $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill that passed the House on Friday is just the start of the spending that he and the Democrats plan on doing.
“Folks, yesterday I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to suggest that we took a monumental step forward as a nation,” Biden said on Saturday, celebrating the passage of the bill.
“And we’re just getting started,” he continued, adding, “we did something that’s been long overdue, that long has been talked about in Washington, but never actually been done.”
Elsewhere in the speech, Biden referred to the bill as a “once in a generation investment.” He said that it will, among other things, “turn the climate crisis into an opportunity,” create union jobs that can’t be outsourced, and even ease the astronomical inflation that we have been seeing.
On Friday, the House passed the $1.2 trillion so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill by a vote of 228 to 206.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has struggled over the past month to get this bill through the House, despite the fact that it had already passed the U.S. Senate. The problem for Pelosi was infighting among progressives and moderates in the House.
The progressives refused to support the bill without getting some kind of assurance from the moderates that they will support Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act.
For a while, the moderates refused to give in. But, they finally did on Friday, agreeing to support the Build Back Better Act after the Congressional Budget Office provides a score on the bill’s financial implications.
Significantly, progressive Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Cori Bush (D-MO), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) all voted against the “bipartisan” infrastructure bill.
It was only with the support of 13 House Republicans that Pelosi managed to pass the bill. You can probably guess some of the “Republicans” that voted “yes.”
But, the reason that these six progressives voted against the measure is that they are skeptical that the moderates will actually support the Build Back Better Act when a vote is held on it. So, these progressives wanted to delay the vote until a vote can be held on both bills.
What this is setting up here is another showdown between moderate and progressive Democrats on Biden’s Build Back Better Act. The Congressional Budget Office has been asked to provide the score by the week of the 15th. So, it will be at least a week before this showdown takes place.