House Passes Biden Infrastructure Bill After Hours of Negotiations

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Sends to Biden’s desk

After a day of negotiations, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk late Friday evening.

The measure includes some $550 billion in new spending that seeks to fund the construction of roads, bridges and highways, public transport, water infrastructure, as well as power and broadband infrastructure, and cyber security, among other initiatives. It passed the Senate in August.

The final vote was 228-206, with 13 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the bill. The Republicans were Reps. John Katko (R-N.Y.), Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Fred Upon (R-Mich.), Don Bacon (R-Nebr.), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), and David McKinley (R-W.Va.)

Six progressive Democrats—members of the “Squad”—voted against the measure. They were Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

House Democrats late Friday had reached an agreement to vote on the bill, as well as to set up a separate future vote on Biden’s ambitious $1.75 trillion budget bill, also known as the Build Back Better bill.

Biden has struggled since September to garner support for his two-part economic agenda. The two pieces of legislation include the biggest upgrade of America’s roads, bridges, and airports in a generation, and the largest expansion of social programs since the 1960s.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had sought to hold votes on both bills on Friday but was forced to postpone the vote on the Build Back Better bill, after some moderate Democrats said they wanted a least 72 hours to review the text of the bill, and to review the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) scores on the spending bill to understand the “true cost of the legislation.” They also wanted the Senate to confirm it would not make changes to the bill in the interim period.

The House went into recess late Friday night amid continued negotiations brokered by Biden and House leaders to reach a final agreement before the vote on the infrastructure bill.

Five moderate Democrats agreed to back the Build Back Better bill if CBO estimates are consistent with preliminary numbers that White House and congressional tax analysts have provided. The group, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), said in a statement that if the fiscal estimates raise problems, “we remain committed to working to resolve any discrepancies in order to pass the Build Back Better legislation.” The other four Democrats in the group are Reps. Ed Case (D-Hawaii), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.).

Moderates have forced leaders to slash the roughly 2,100-page bill to around half its original $3.5 trillion size. Republicans say it is too expensive and damaging to the economy.

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

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The 13 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill were:

  1. Reps. John Katko (R-N.Y.)
  2. Reps. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.)
  3. Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.)
  4. Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.)
  5. Reps. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.)
  6. Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)
  7. Reps. Don Young (R-Alaska)
  8. Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
  9. Reps. Fred Upon (R-Mich.)
  10. Reps. Don Bacon (R-Nebr.)
  11. Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio)
  12. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.)
  13. Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.)
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