Congress passes $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, delivering major win for Biden - CNNPolitics


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  9 months ago  •  16 comments

By:   Annie Grayer, Manu Raju and Clare Foran (CNN)

Congress passes $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, delivering major win for Biden - CNNPolitics
Congress has passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, delivering on a major pillar of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda after months of internal deliberations and painstaking divisions among Democrats.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

(CNN)Congress has passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, delivering on a major pillar of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda after months of internal deliberations and painstaking divisions among Democrats.

The bill now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law, following hours of delayes and internal debating among Democrats on Friday, including calls from Biden to persuade skeptical progressive members of the Democratic caucus. The legislation passed the Senate in August, but was stalled in the House as Democrats tried to negotiate a deal on a separate $1.9 trillion economic package, another key component of Biden's agenda that many Democrats had tied to the fate of the infrastructure bill. Going into Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was her intention to vote on final passage of the infrastructure bill and the economic package known as the Build Back Better Act. But previously expressing confidence that two bills would pass on Friday, Pelosi indicated in the afternoon that they would solely move the infrastructure bill amid push back from moderates that the separate economic agenda bill needs an official cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, a process that could take about two weeks. Read More After hours of negotiating, the House finally moved forward to send the infrastructure bill to Biden's desk, despite opposition from progressives who had warned that they would sink the infrastructure bill if it moved ahead without the separate economic package. Throughout Friday, progressives made clear that both bills must move in tandem, and they have pushed that if the $1.9 trillion dollar bill is delayed then the infrastructure bill should be voted on at the same time. The party had been struggling for months to unite its moderate and progressive wings to enact the President's agenda, but those efforts had repeatedly stalled out, delivering a series of blows to congressional Democrats and the White House. The party had already had to punt on voting on the infrastructure bill twice in two months due to a separate set of demands from progressives. Biden has gotten personally involved, visiting the Hill twice to rally Democrats, and working the phones with moderates this week. That has still not resolved the impasse. Ahead of the infrastructure vote, a group of moderates that represented key holdouts on the social spending package issued a statement detailing their commitments to vote for the social spending bill, which was aimed at getting progressives on board to support the infrastructure bill. Shortly after, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal released a statement saying that the caucus had reached a deal with fellow Democrats to vote on the infrastructure bill Friday night, abandoning a key tenant of their position, which was to only vote for the infrastructure bill when the social spending bill also would receive a final vote.

Pelosi's whip count

As frustration over the holdup intensified, House leadership pressed ahead with a plan to vote on the infrastructure bill and a separate rule governing debate for the social spending bill. But it was not clear at the time that Democrats had the votes. Pelosi held firm at a news conference that the new plan will go forward and sounded confident about the prospects of passing the infrastructure bill, though she did not explicitly say there is enough support to approve the measure. Asked if she has 218 votes to pass the infrastructure bill without the social spending bill, Pelosi only said "we'll see." Pelosi said with a smile at one point, "I have the speakers' secret whip count." "I do believe there are a large number of members of the progressive caucus who will vote for the bill," she said. After speaking to reporters, Pelosi huddled with senior staff on the floor of the House chamber, carrying a paper with a list of names that she kept referencing.

Biden calls progressives

Biden called Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat and the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, this afternoon amid the standoff, according to three sources familiar with the matter. She left a CPC meeting early to take the call. After Jayapal asked for a show of hands of those who would not back the infrastructure bill, roughly 20 progressives raised their hands, according to a source in the room. The President separately called into a meeting of the Progressive Caucus itself and spoke on speakerphone to the members, according to two sources familiar with the call, pushing a vote on the infrastructure bill. Biden also scrapped his travel to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Friday night as initially planned, according to a White House official, as he continues to push for a path forward on advancing his agenda. Part of Biden's message to progressives Friday is that he's willing to work with them to find some kind of solution, so long as they agreed to vote for the infrastructure bill in the coming hours, according to a source familiar with the call. Things moved toward the process of crafting a statement, backed by the moderates and Biden, that would provide explicit and concrete assurances related to the future vote on Biden's economic and climate agenda bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, the source said. Multiple sources told CNN that Jayapal and moderate Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey were in direct talks as they tried to finalize a deal that could get the infrastructure bill to the President's desk Friday with concrete assurances the moderates would back the Build Back Better Act. The memo issued by five moderate members of the Democratic caucus was aimed at giving those assurances. Gottheimer and fellow moderate Democratic Reps. Ed Case of Hawaii, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Kathleen Rice of New York and Kurt Schrader of Oregon vowed to vote for the social spending package "in its current form other than technical changes, as expeditiously as we receive fiscal information from the Congressional Budget Office -- but in no event later than the week of November 15."

Frustration grows

Some House Democrats were angry at the handful of moderates holding up action over demands that the $1.9 trillion bill get a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, a process that could take weeks. Rep. Mark Pocan, former chair of the progressive caucus, described today on the Hill colorfully, telling reporters, "Well, the whole day was a clusterf***, right?" "Not one of my constituents cares about the CBO," said one member. "Everyone is anxious to get this done," another member said. "There's growing frustration that the Blue Dogs keep moving the goal post. Every time we get close, they come up with a new demand." The Blue Dog Coalition is a group of centrist House Democrats. Progressive members were also not happy with the new plan being pushed by leadership of letting infrastructure pass without the social spending bill, multiple sources told CNN. "They would lose at least 20 votes of Pramila, squad and core progressives for BIF if they chose that route. It won't pass," one progressive told CNN, referring to Jayapal, the Congressional Progressive chairwoman, and other members of the caucus and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is frequently referred to as BIF.

Moderate demands stall push for votes

Five moderates, including Golden, signed onto a letter this week calling for a CBO score, before floor consideration of the Build Back Better Act. CBO scores of legislation provide an estimate of the effects the policies could have on revenue and spending. Moderates, many of whom have expressed concerns over the overall cost of the bill, argue it is important to have that information and a full picture of the potential impact of the sweeping social safety net plan before holding a vote. But it could take some time to prepare such a cost estimate. In the meantime, Democratic leadership is relying on a White House analysis saying the bill is fully paid for, based in part on the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation. Biden turns the screws on Democrats with a call for the House to pass his economic agenda 'right now' House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Kentucky, told CNN he expected a CBO score to take about 10-14 days, and wouldn't be done until the week before Thanksgiving. Some think it could slip until the week of Thanksgiving, though preliminary estimates could be done earlier. Schrader, who signed onto the letter calling for a CBO score, left Pelosi's office earlier on Friday and told CNN "we have no resolution that I know" when asked if he is ready to vote on Build Back Better. In one sign of progress for leadership, after meeting in Pelosi's office, Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia tweeted that she is not against voting for the social spending bill and that the CBO score is not a red line for her. "There are a lot of rumors swirling. Let me be clear — this bill is paid for and it has a number of my priorities in it. If it comes to the Floor today — I will support the Build Back Better Act," she said.

Some issues resolved

Democratic sources say that negotiations over immigration provisions have been resolved — and the last remaining hurdle to passing a bill is the demand by five moderates that they get a CBO score before a vote. In a sign that a deal is getting closer, House Democrats have also resolved another sticking point: How to deal with state and local tax deductions, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. Democrats from the Northeast and West Coast have been pushing to loosen the caps imposed by the 2017 tax law. Under the new SALT deal, deductions would be capped at $80,000 per year over a nine-year time span, according to Rep. Tom Malinowski, who helped cut the deal. Before this week, demands from progressives had taken center stage in the push to pass the bills in the House. Progressives have demanded that both the social safety net plan and the infrastructure bill move in tandem. This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Friday.

CNN's Phil Mattingly and Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.


jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    9 months ago


Professor Principal
2  TᵢG    9 months ago

Biden should sign this bill and then stop here.   This bill has a chance to do good (depending upon how much true infrastructure it yields).    This is perfect for Biden to carry forward in his single term.   The next mega-spending bill will be divisive and almost certainly doomed to line pockets with a diluted good effect for the people and a certain bad effect through further massive indebtedness and waste.

Biden should ensure this is a political victory that actually delivers good results.   There is plenty here to give a solid legacy for a one-term PotUS.

Professor Principal
2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @2    9 months ago

Joe Biden campaigned on both bills. Both bills are popular with the American people. He will be in far more trouble if they dont pass some sort of version of the second than he is in now. In fact if they dont pass the second he will have no chance of being re-nominated should he want to be. 

PhD Guide
2.1.1  Drakkonis  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    9 months ago

Not sure how you can claim the second, unpassed bill is popular with the American people. Not many right of center care for any of it and even on the left the moderate Dems don't like it much. 

Professor Principal
2.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    9 months ago
In fact if they dont pass the second he will have no chance of being re-nominated should he want to be. 

Biden should focus on making his one-term successful both now for the American people and for his legacy.

Both bills are popular with the American people.

Really?   What leads you to that position?

Professor Quiet
2.1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    9 months ago

"Both bills are popular with the American people".

Which segment of the American people are you talking about John? Please don't deem to speak for me.

Professor Principal
2.1.4  JohnRussell  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.1.3    9 months ago

I believe polling has shown majority support for virtually all of the major aspects of the social spending bill. 

Biden's Build Back Better framework is supported by over half of Americans

Seven out of ten Americans or more support expanded Medicare coverage, universal preschool, and other components of Biden's Build Back Better framework Biden's Build Back Better framework is supported by over half of Americans | Ipsos
Professor Principal
2.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.4    9 months ago

To be clear, this was a poll of only 1,000 citizens; more details:

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that over half of Americans (56%) support the Build Bank Better Framework, but that support is primarily driven by Democrats. Eighty-three percent of Democrats support the plan, while only 28% of Republicans do. However, although support for the plan is split along party lines, individual components of the plan garner high support from all Americans. Expanding Medicare coverage gets the most support (80%), followed by imposing a 5% tax on incomes of over $10 million a year (70%), and universal preschool (69%). Investing in the immigration system (53%) and imposing a 15% minimum corporate tax (56%) are least supported, with the lack of support primarily from Republicans. Finally, 57% think Americans would be positively impacted, and a majority think they would personally benefit from the bill being passed.

Cut the bill down, remove the pork and deliver something that will deliver popular, practical items sans wasteful spending.   (Yeah, entirely wishful thinking.)

Professor Quiet
2.1.6  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.5    9 months ago

A most excellent post TiG. Thank you for the facts without the cherry picking.

Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
3  Nowhere Man    9 months ago

This is a huge gamble on Biden and the moderate democrat's part.... The progressives are going to go ballistic if the moderates don't deliver the votes.... And that will make Biden look even more inept.... 

This last election makes it bear does it in the woods time for the democrats.... they cannot afford to be seen as inept as they currently have been...

Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Nowhere Man @3    9 months ago


Junior Participates
3.2  GregTx  replied to  Nowhere Man @3    9 months ago

They left themselves a good "out". If the CBO score isn't good enough they won't vote for it. And how could it be?

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
4  Vic Eldred    9 months ago

It was moderate democrats who had to back down. The squad voted against it.  So this was always on the table for democrats to pass. It was only the threat of losing everything that got Pelosi pushing House members. 


Pelosi to voters:  DROP DEAD

Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Vic Eldred @4    9 months ago

Signing his signature infrastructure bill is a win for President Biden, especially with bipartisan support.

The Afghan peace dividend will kick in plus with the infrastructure jobs our economy will be in high gear by election day 2022. Even better by 2024!

Professor Quiet
4.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  JBB @4.1    9 months ago
The Afghan peace dividend will kick in

WTF! Where the hell did you come up with that! How many US citizens, green card holders, and special VISA holders did Biden abandon in Afghanistan. He has done nothing to get any of them out! Forget the increased terror threat from the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL, and ISIS-K all now safely operating in Afghanistan?

What reality does the left live in that they think Afghanistan was anything but an absolute debacle for Biden? 

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
4.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  JBB @4.1    9 months ago
Signing his signature infrastructure bill is a win for President Biden, especially with bipartisan support.

As a matter of fact, in the end they couldn't even get that without the 13 Republicans who signed on to a bill that is as much about green energy & other things as it was about "infrastructure." 

And you think any of this will help in 2022 and 2024?

"Based on last night’s election results,   Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball   shifts the ratings of four 2022 Senate races towards the Republicans.

Arizona, Georgia and Nevada move from Lean Democratic to Toss Up.

Colorado moves from Safe Democratic top Likely Democratic."


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