Tuesday, 10 August 2021 13:06

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Passes Senate, Faces Battle in House

Written by Jack Birle, The Center Square


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The Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill after months of negotiations, setting the stage for the bill to be debated in the House.

With Vice President Kamala Harris presiding over the vote, the bill easily passed through the Senate with a 69-30 vote. All 30 nay votes came from Republican senators.


The $1.2 trillion bill would fund improvements to roads, bridges, broadband internet, railways and other forms of infrastructure. The bill allocates approximately $550 billion in new spending toward infrastructure projects.


“It's been a long and winding road but we have persisted and now we have arrived. There were many logs in our path, detours along the way, but the American people will now see the most robust injection of funds into infrastructure in decades,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, on the Senate floor prior to the vote.


Despite a new report from the Congressional Budget Office which estimated the bill would add $256 billion to the deficit over a period of 10 years, Republican support for the bill remained strong. On Aug. 10, 19 Republican senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, voted to move the bill forward. McConnell spoke on the issues with the bill while still supporting it on the Senate floor Aug. 7.


“Like I have said before, I am quite confident that out of 100 United States senators, there are 100 of us who believe the bill is imperfect,” McConnell said. “This is a compromise product crafted by colleagues with big, principled differences and…in a Senate with the narrowest possible split.”


One of the members of the initial bipartisan negotiating group, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, defended the bill, specifically after the Congressional Budget Office report.


“The Congressional Budget Office has scored about one half of it as being paid for under their rules," he said. "The other half is also paid for by real dollars. Not the way CBO scores it under their rules but just as real. Sometimes, for instance, a pile of funding, a pile of cash, has been previously allocated and not used. And so it goes back to the treasury and the CBO says we can't score that because it's already been appropriated once.”


Some Republicans opposed the bill citing...

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