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Biden hails infrastructure win as ‘monumental step forward’

Nancy Pelosi, James Clyburn, Steny Hoyer
Posted at 8:20 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-06 10:53:05-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House of Representatives finally passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package late Friday.

On Saturday, President Joe Biden hailed the passage as a "monumental step forward for the nation."

The bill will now be sent to Biden's desk, which he said he will sign "soon."

"I'm not doing it this weekend because I want people who work so hard, Democrats and Republicans, to be here," Biden told reporters.

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Since August, the bill had been held up when it passed the Senate with a 69-30 vote.

In the House, the vote was 228-206— with more than a dozen Republicans joining Democrats in voting for the bill.

According to the Associated Press, six Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri opposed it.

The bill will provide money to improve roads, bridges and expand broadband access.

Democrats had wanted to pass the infrastructure bill and a social spending bill at the same time.

However, moderates and progressives spent months going back and forth over the price and scope of the bill, known as the Build Back Better Act.

The two wings of the Democratic party said they entered into a commitment to vote on the Build Back Better Act no later than Nov. 15, which will provide enough time for the Congressional Budget Office enough time to sign the bill.

Moderates said they wanted assurance that the bill will not add to the deficit.

The social spending package contains provisions intended to fight climate change, expand Medicare, provide housing, and immigration reform.

Should the social spending bill pass the House, it would move to the Senate, where Democrats control the chamber by the slimmest of margins. For the bill to reach the president, it would likely need the support of every Democratic senator — even moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Krysten Sinema. They have raised concerns about the package's price tag.

Manchin and Sinema have already pushed the Democrats to remove some provisions from the social spending bill, including tax breaks and penalties that incentivize power companies to seek renewable energy sources. They've also reduced the size of some aspects of the bill, like the child tax deductions.