Senators of both parties came together to craft the legislation, and it passed in the Senate with a resounding bipartisan endorsement. The vote in the House was closer, but the bill would have failed if not for 13 Republicans joining most Democrats in support.
G10 group of senators on bipartisan infrastructure bill signing pic.twitter.com/Ik5Et3p0zf
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) November 15, 2021
“How many times have we heard that bipartisanship isn’t possible anymore?” asked Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the co-sponsor of the legislation, at the White House on Monday. “Our legislation proves the opposite.”
Indeed, Monday’s signing ceremony was a rare show of bipartisanship. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), the bill’s other Senate co-sponsor, was there, as was No Labels National Co-chair Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD). Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Don Young (R-AK), were among the other GOP attendees.
President Biden said at the ceremony, “Too often in Washington the reason we didn’t get things done is because we insisted on getting everything we want. With this law, we focused on getting things done. I ran for president because the only way to move this country forward, in my view, was to compromise and consensus. That’s how the system works.”
Amid Monday’s celebratory mood, however, was the reality that Republicans who backed the bill are facing attacks from their own party, primary challengers, and even death threats.
House Problem Solvers Caucus Co-chair Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who backed the bill, said Monday, “You should vote up or down on a bill based on the text. It shouldn’t matter who benefits politically.” Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), who also voted for it, was even blunter: “To say that a bill is right for your district…but then you’ve got to vote against it because you don’t want to give the other side a victory? That is a sign of what’s broken.”