Senate passes $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill

Photo (c) Towfiqu Barbhuiya / EyeEm - Getty Images

The bill includes money to rebuild roads and bridges, protect public utility systems from cyberattacks, and more

The Senate on Tuesday passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package aimed at addressing the maintenance of roads, bridges, and broadband internet access. 

The legislation, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, includes $550 billion in new funding over the next five years -- $110 billion is set to go toward roads, bridges and other projects; $65 billion will go toward broadband, $66 billion will be spent on passenger and freight rail, $55 billion will support water infrastructure, $39.2 billion will be set aside for public transit, $47.2 billion will go toward resiliency purposes, $7.5 billion will fund electric vehicle infrastructure, and $21 billion will address pollution. President Biden announced the successful vote on Twitter. 

"Big news, folks," Biden wrote. "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."

Democrats pushing a paired deal

The measure was negotiated by a group of 22 bipartisan lawmakers and made it through the Senate in a 69-30 vote. Nineteen Republicans joined all 50 Democrats, but some members of the GOP expressed their opposition. 

“This isn’t exactly the bill I would have written on my own, in my office, and 99 of my colleagues would say the same. This is a compromise product crafted by colleagues with big, principled differences in a Senate with the narrowest possible split,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor Saturday. 

The bill isn’t likely to be taken up by the House of Representatives until the fall. The House is out for recess until September 20. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has indicated that she will not take up the infrastructure bill until Democrats’ separate proposal to expand the social safety net is passed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has expressed optimism that the two-track plan will work. 

Schumer stated that he intends to move quickly on the resolution, and he noted that the reconciliation process was used earlier this year to pass the COVID-19 relief package despite unanimous Republican opposition.

"Today the Senate takes a decades overdue step to revitalize America's infrastructure and give our workers, our businesses, our economy the tools to succeed in the 21st century," Schumer said. "Of course, we Democrats believe we need to do much more. We are moving on to a second track, which will make generational transformation."

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