House passes bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill after progressives drop opposition

Moderates pledged to vote for a separate social spending bill costing about $1.75T no later than the week of Nov. 15

House passes bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill after progressives drop opposition

House legislators passed President Biden’s $1.2 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill late on Friday night. This was a crucial victory for his administration. It also broke a long-standing deadlock between progressives and moderates that threatened to stall the legislation. Voting was 228 to 206. 13 GOP lawmakers voted in favor of the legislation, crossing party lines.

The bill, which funds infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and water pipes, will now be sent to President Biden for final approval. In August, Senators voted 69-30 in favor of the legislation.

The bill was opposed by six Democrats who voted against it, "The Squad", a group consisting of prominent progressive lawmakers. This group includes Reps. Ilhan Omar and Cori Bush, Jamaal bowman, Rashida Talaib, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, RashidaTlaib, Jamaal Bowman, RashidaTlaib, Jamaal Bowlman, RashidaTlaib, Rashida Pressley, and Jamaal Bowman.

After months of negotiations, the legislation was passed. Democratic leaders worked tirelessly to find a compromise that would satisfy both moderate and progressive holdouts. Talks almost collapsed several times, even just minutes before the vote.

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, originally planned to vote on both pieces on Friday. Pelosi had to cancel that plan after moderates demanded that the Congressional Budget Office "score” the spending bill in order to better evaluate its financial implications. This process can take many weeks and delay a vote on the spending bills.

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Speaker of the House, was accompanied by James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who left Washington to speak with reporters at the Capitol on Friday, November 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana). (AP Newsroom).

After House moderates promised to vote for "Build Back Better Act," Democratic leaders were able to secure a truce. The act was currently being written by the House no later than Nov. 15. They said that they would address any discrepancies between the CBO score, previous spending estimates, and that they would not be surprised if there were.

"All of our fellow colleagues have also pledged to vote tonight on the rule to bring the Build Back Better Act forward in order to codify the promise. In a statement made prior to the vote, the Congressional Progressive Caucus stated that the President had confirmed that these members had given him the same commitment.

"As part this agreement, at President's request, and to ensure that we pass both bills through Congress, progressives will move the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and House rule on Build back Better tonight," said the statement.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), is the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The group meets behind closed doors after the Democratic Leadership abruptly delayed a House vote on a $1.85 billion social and environmental measure.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed. This became a bargaining chip for progressives. They maintained for months that they would not approve the bill unless Pelosi introduced it to a vote alongside Biden's $1.75 billion "Build Back Better Act," which funds climate action and social programs.

Pelosi decided to hold votes on both the bipartisan infrastructure bill as well as the procedural rule governing the spending bill. Voting to adopt the rule would allow Democratic leaders to bring to the House the spending bill, giving them some measure of progress even though they didn't pass the legislation.

Progressives resisted the plan and said the House should wait until the CBO scores the spending bill before voting on both pieces.

Corporate interests will continue to derail these long-overdue, popular and necessary investments in families, communities, workers, and their families the longer the Build back Better Act is delayed. Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, tweeted Friday afternoon that it was time to do this for the people.

Updated Date: 06 November 2021, 04:51

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