House Finally Passes $1T Infrastructure Bill

But vote on social spending bill has been delayed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 5, 2021 11:52 PM CDT
House Finally Passes $1T Infrastructure Bill
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accompanied by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, left, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, speaks to reporters at the Capitol Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The House approved a $1 trillion package of road and other infrastructure projects late Friday after Democrats resolved a months-long standoff between progressives and moderates, notching a victory that President Biden and his party had become increasingly anxious to claim. The House passed the measure 228-206, prompting prolonged cheers from the relieved Democratic side of the chamber. Thirteen Republicans, mostly moderates, supported the legislation while six of Democrats' farthest left members—including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush of Missouri—opposed it, the AP reports.

Approval of the legislation, which would create legions of jobs and improve broadband, water supplies and other public works, whisked it to the desk of a president whose approval ratings have dropped and whose party got a cold shoulder from voters in this week’s off-year elections. Yet despite the win, Democrats endured a setback when they postponed a vote on a second, even larger measure until later this month. That 10-year, $1.85 trillion measure bolstering health, family, and climate change programs was sidetracked after moderates demanded a cost estimate on the sprawling measure from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, dashing hopes that the day would produce a double-barreled win for Biden.

But in an evening breakthrough brokered by Biden and House leaders, the moderates later agreed to back that bill if CBO's estimates are consistent with preliminary numbers that White House and congressional tax analysts have provided. In exchange, progressives agreed to back the infrastructure measure. The White House issued a statement from Biden on Friday night aimed at reinforcing the accord. "I am urging all members to vote for both the rule for consideration of the Build Back Better Act and final passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill tonight," he said, using the administration’s names for the two measures. "I am confident that during the week of November 15, the House will pass the Build Back Better Act."

(Read more Biden infrastructure plan stories.)

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