We’re on our way.
The 2,702-page Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was officially unveiled late Sunday. Senate Majority Leader Schumer anticipates a speedy final passage this week thanks to “how bipartisan the bill is.”
The legislation was formally introduced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and both emphasized the importance of both parties shaping it. Sinema said on the Senate floor, “We look forward very much to working with our colleagues in a collaborative and open way over the coming days to work through this historic investment in infrastructure.”
Portman said, “This process of starting from the center out worked. People have talked about infrastructure in this city forever.”
The WaPo writes, “The infrastructure talks have served as evidence for Biden’s insistence that bipartisanship prevail.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is the most important investment in public transit in American history and the most important investment in rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 1, 2021
So what happens this week? Republicans will have the chance to propose amendments to the legislation, but Politico says Schumer intends to speed that process along as much as possible. Though Senate Minority Leader McConnell may “push loudly for an expansive amendment process,” he has “been on a path to support the final bill.”
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) both said Sunday that the final vote could come on Thursday.
The fight in the House is already heating up. The WSJ reports Speaker Pelosi still intends to tie the fate of the bill to the $3.5 trillion social spending and climate plan that has only Democratic backing — and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told CNN that progressives have “more than enough” votes to keep the bills linked. But Roll Call says Pelosi’s “plan to link [the bills] is starting to backfire,” with moderate Democrats threatening to block consideration of the bigger bill unless the infrastructure bill is brought up as well..
Problem Solvers Caucus member Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) writes in the Orlando Sentinel, “In order to ensure America’s economic dominance in the 21st century, failure is not an option. We, House Democrats, along with House Republican members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, stand ready to work with this bipartisan group of 67 Senators who joined together to build back better.”
When Republicans & Democrats reach across the aisle & put our heads together, we can achieve anything. This bipartisan infrastructure deal is proof of that. Now let’s hash out the final details & pass a bill that will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure from the ground up. #MI06 https://t.co/j4QHDXo24P
— Fred Upton #GetVaccinated (@RepFredUpton) July 31, 2021
It’s clear that there is vast bipartisan support for the infrastructure bill. It won the backing of 359 mayors of both parties from across the U.S. last week, just the latest sign of how crucial passage is. It merits prompt House action without linkage to any other bill.
Said Manchin: “I would never ever ever try to advise Speaker Pelosi on how she runs the House…but the bottom line is, we’ve got a bill. … It should fall or rise on its own.”