US House passes $1t infrastructure bill, putting social policy bill on hold

1. US $1t Bill
US President Joe Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks about the passage of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill in the House of Representatives, during a news conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 6, 2021. (Photo: NYTimes)
WASHINGTON, DC — The US House of Representatives passed a $1 trillion bill Friday night to rebuild the country’s aging public works system, fund new climate resilience initiatives, and expand access to high-speed internet service, giving final approval to a central plank of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda after a daylong drama that pitted moderate Democrats against progressives.اضافة اعلان

But an even larger social safety net and climate change bill was back on hold, with a half-dozen moderate-to-conservative Democrats withholding their votes until a nonpartisan analysis could tally its price tag.

For Biden, passage of the infrastructure bill fulfilled a marquee legislative goal that he had promised to deliver since the early days of his presidency: the largest single investment of federal resources into infrastructure projects in more than a decade, including a substantial effort to fortify the nation’s response to the warming of the planet.

“Tonight, we took a monumental step forward as a nation,” Biden said in a statement after the vote, lauding both the infrastructure and the social policy bills. “Generations from now, people will look back and know this is when America won the economic competition for the 21st century.”

The drubbing Democrats took in off-year elections Tuesday had given new urgency to the president’s demand for legislative action.

On Friday, Biden put his credibility on the line, pleading with liberals to end their monthslong blockade and send him the public works measure immediately without passage of their priority, the social safety net measure. He backed passage of a rule for debating the social policy bill, called the Build Back Better Act, as a tangible sign that it, too, would soon pass.

At 9pm, Biden made that plea public: “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 wrote. “I am confident that during the week of November 15, the House will pass the Build Back Better Act.”
He was expected to quickly sign the infrastructure bill into law.

In a late-night vote, the House passed the infrastructure measure on a 228–206 vote, with 13 Republicans joining all but six Democrats in support.

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