House Passes $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill amid Wrangling over Reconciliation Package
The House passed the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Friday night following months of negotiations, sending the legislation to the White House for President Biden’s signature.
Lawmakers voted 228-206 to pass the legislation, and representatives broke into cheers at the end of the vote. While six Democrats voted against the bill, 13 Republicans voted in favor, giving the bill the necessary backing to pass.
Earlier on Friday, Democratic leadership scheduled a “rule” vote to set parameters for debate on the Biden administration’s $1.75 trillion reconciliation spending bill, before moving to vote on the infrastructure plan.
President Biden remained in Washington, D.C., on Friday night to urge lawmakers to move forward with both votes.
“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,” the president said in a statement. “I am confident that during the week of November 15, the House will pass the” reconciliation package.
Congressional progressives had attempted to link passage of the infrastructure bill with passage of the reconciliation bill, however, moderate House Democrats refused to back the reconciliation bill without first studying the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s presentation of the bill’s actual cost.
“In order to ensure the final bill is indeed fiscally responsible, we must first have the proper CBO/JCT scoring information before any floor consideration,” five House Democratic moderates, including New Jersey representative Josh Gottheimer, wrote in a letter on Tuesday.
On Friday night, moderates agreed to vote for the reconciliation bill “in its current form” once it receives a CBO score, provided that aligns with White House estimates, and “in no event later than the week of November 15th.” In return, House Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) said her caucus would back the infrastructure bill.
Six progressives defected and voted against the infrastructure bill: Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Cori Bush (D., Mo.), Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.).
The 13 Republicans to vote in favor of the bill were: Representatives Don Bacon (R., Neb.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Andrew Garbarino (R., N.Y.), Anthony Gonzalez (R., Ohio), John Katko (R., N.Y.), Adam Kinzinger (R., Ind.), Nicole Malliotakis (R., N.Y.), David McKinley (R., W.Va.), Tom Reed (R., N.Y.), Chris Smith (R., N.J.), Fred Upton (R., Mich.), Jeff Van Drew (R., N.J.), and Don Young (R., Alaska).
The Senate voted 69-30 in August to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill. That legislation allocated $550 billion in new federal spending over five years, including $110 billion toward roads and bridges, $66 billion for railroads, $25 billion for airports, and $65 billion toward expanding broadband Internet.
The $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill is a compromise spending plan reduced from an original cost of $3.5 trillion, following objections to the legislation from Senators Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.). The new bill includes billions in tax breaks and investments in clean-energy initiatives, funding for universal preschool, and expanded child tax credits.
The Biden administration dropped proposals for free community college, Medicare coverage for dental and vision services, and paid family leave from the reconciliation bill.