The Senate passed a $1 trillion “infrastructure” spending bill Tuesday, pushing forward a big item on President Joe Biden’s agenda.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed 69-30 with 19 Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — joining all Democrats to make major investments in the nation’s roads, bridges and railways, among other things.
“Big news, folks: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal has officially passed the Senate,” Biden tweeted.
“I hope Congress will send it to my desk as soon as possible so we can continue our work of building back better.”
Big news, folks: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal has officially passed the Senate. I hope Congress will send it to my desk as soon as possible so we can continue our work of building back better.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 10, 2021
In addition to McConnell, the other GOP senators who voted for the massive legislation were Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Jim Risch of Idaho, Mitt Romney of Utah, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
The Senate vote on the $1.2T infrastructure bill. Final vote was 69-30. 19 Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, voted yes. GOP Sen. Mike Rounds did not vote. (He was with his wife for her cancer treatment; said he opposed final bill.)https://t.co/wFJHcREF38 pic.twitter.com/eo9XZqkHD7
— Byron York (@ByronYork) August 10, 2021
Portman celebrated the vote as a historic investment that will serve the American people.
“We can do big things on a bipartisan basis if we put our minds to it.”
However, Republicans who opposed the bill decried the deficit spending and noted that much of the $1 trillion goes to items unrelated to infrastructure.
“[W]e have a package with some infrastructure — good for our economy — riddled with big government and massive deficit spending — over a quarter of a trillion dollars in the hole,” Sen. Bill Hagerty of Tennessee said, according to Fox News.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said in a statement that he “could not in good conscience vote for a $1.2 trillion bill that isn’t paid for, contains so many wasteful pet projects, and paves the way for trillions of dollars in partisan tax hikes and wasteful spending.”
The passage of the bill came after the Senate negotiated amendments to the infrastructure legislation that would add $555 billion in new spending toward the country’s roads and highways, public transit, water systems and broadband, according to NBC News.
The New York Times reported that the bill provides $110 billion for roads, bridges and other projects, $65 billion for high-speed internet access and $25 billion for airports.
The show of bipartisanship was short-lived as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will not vote on the bill until the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion budget bill.
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called a procedural vote to start the debate on that budget bill shortly after the infrastructure bill passed. The procedural vote passed along party lines, according to Fox News.
“The two-track strategy is proceeding full steam ahead,” the New York Democrat said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont will spearhead the second spending plan, but Republicans said they will make it hard for Democrats to pass the second bill.
“[Democrats] want to begin pushing through a reckless taxing and spending spree that was authored by our self-described socialist colleague Chairman Sanders,” McConnell said Tuesday.
“We’re going to argue it out right here on the floor at some length. Every single senator will be going on record over and over and over.”
Cruz called the budget bill a “$3.5 trillion liberal wish list of crushing taxes and radical spending.”
The House is expected to take up the infrastructure bill when members return from summer recess in September.