Senate approves bipartisan $1T infrastructure plan in win for Biden
2 months ago
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The Senate on Tuesday passed a major $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill in a significant show of bipartisan force that marked a big step forward for President Biden's domestic agenda.
The vote was 69-30, with 19 Republicans – including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – joining all Democrats to approve major investments to the nation's roads, bridges, railways and more. To mark the achievement, Vice President Kamala Harris came to the Capitol to preside over the Senate and announced the successful vote.
"Big news, folks," Biden tweeted immediately after the vote. "The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal has officially passed the Senate. I hope Congress will send it to my desk as soon as possible so we can continue our work of building back better."
The final passage vote was a culmination of a months-long rocky effort between a group of bipartisan senators and the White House intent on showing the country that Republicans and Democrats can still work together to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure.
Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, one of the lead negotiators, celebrated the vote as a historic investment in infrastructure that will serve the American people for decades to come.
"What we're doing here today also demonstrates to the American people that we can get our act together on a bipartisan basis and get something done," Portman said. "We can do big things on a bipartisan basis if we put our minds to it."
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL?
But the rare showing of bipartisanship was short-lived Tuesday, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., quickly pivoted to advancing a massive $3.5 trillion budget bill. Minutes after the infrastructure bill success, Schumer immediately called a procedural vote to begin debate on the Democrats' budget plan, which passed along party lines: 50-49.
This partisan budget proposal will be the vehicle for Democrats to pass liberal priorities such as universal pre-kindergarten, expanded Medicare access, two free years of community college, subsidized child care, legalizing undocumented immigrants and green climate initiatives.
"The two-track strategy is proceeding full steam ahead," Schumer said Tuesday.
This second spending plan is spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the chairman of the budget committee. Republicans made clear Tuesday they'll make it politically painful for Democrats to pass this second bill, which will not require any GOP support under a process called budget reconciliation.