Five Facts on Major Bipartisan Legislation

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the Senate 69-30 in August and passed the House 228-206 on November 5. It’s one of the most consequential pieces of bipartisan legislation in years, and passed thanks to 13 House Republicans providing enough “yes” votes to offset six House Democrats who voted no. Even though bipartisanship has gotten more difficult in Washington, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have still managed to come together in recent years to address big problems.

Here are five other examples of major bipartisan legislation from the past decade.

1.         The March 2020 CARES Act and the December 2020 COVID relief bill both passed with bipartisan support.

The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed the Senate 96-0 and passed the House on a voice vote in March 2020. Nine months later, a spending bill with an additional $900 billion in COVID relief passed the House 359-53 and the Senate 92-6.

2. The First Step Act passed the House 358-36 and the Senate 87-12 in December 2018.

This bill represented the most significant federal criminal justice reform since the 1990s, and featured job training and several other provisions to make it easier for formerly incarcerated people to reenter society and find gainful employment.

3.         The 21st Century Cures Act passed the House 392-26 and the Senate 94-5 in December 2016.

The legislation streamlined the drug and device approval process in order to bring treatments to the market more quickly. Supporters of the legislation say it played a critical role in accelerating the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

4.         The Every Student Succeeds Act passed the House 359-64 and the Senate 85-12 in December 2015.

The bill replaced the No Child Left Behind Act, which was also passed by broad bipartisan majorities in 2001. The Every Student Succeeds Act was the first legislation to narrow — rather than expand — the federal government’s role in elementary and secondary education since the 1980s.

5.         The JOBS Act passed the House 390-23 and the Senate 73-26 in March 2012.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act was created to encourage funding of small businesses by easing certain securities regulations. It also allowed companies to use crowdfunding to issue securities.

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