Mon. Dec 6th, 2021


The House of Representatives has approved Joe Biden’s $ 1.2tn two-party infrastructure bill Late Friday night, in a big victory for the US president after months of infighting between the Democrats.

In a vote of 228-206, the infrastructure package passed the House, with 13 Republicans joining most of the Democratic caucus. Six progressive Democrats, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush, voted against the measure. The bill, passed by the Senate in August, will now be sent to Biden‘s desk to be signed by law.

The vote offers a much-needed legislative victory for the US president as he grapples with declining approval ratings and Democrats‘losses in several key elections this week, including the Virginia governor’s race.

Friday’s vote followed a few days of squabbling talks that came to the fore after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to continue with the infrastructure bill while considering a separate, larger social spending package popular with left-wing Democrats.

Pelosi’s move has broken a long-standing promise to move the two bills in tandem through Congress, a claim withdrawn by progressive people married to the programs in the larger package, including childcare subsidies and extensive investment in efforts to combat. climate change.

The strategy opened up the possibility that members of Biden’s party would torpedo its flagship infrastructure bill if a critical mass progressive voted against the measure in defiance of the Speaker.

It remained uncertain for several hours on Friday whether progressive people would report as they remained in a meeting on how to proceed. At one point, Biden – who was postponing a planned trip to his Delaware vacation home – called the meeting in a last-ditch effort to win their support.

In the end, the majority of House Progressives said they would vote in favor of the infrastructure bill after their moderate colleagues issued a statement saying they would vote in favor of the second, larger no later than the week of November. “Build Back Better” bill will vote. 15.

The agreement provided a breakthrough after months of infighting over it slits in the president’s party revealed and halted its legislative agenda at a time when its national approval ratings were falling sharply.

Many Democrats blamed the lack of action on Capitol Hill for their party’s poor performance in this week’s governor’s race in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as several local competitions in other states. Democrats seek to bolster support on the road to next year’s midterm elections, when control of both chambers of Congress will be at stake.

At the start of the day, Democratic leaders planned to pass both bills before the weekend. But it soon became clear that the goal would not be realized after a group of at least six House moderates, including Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, said they would not vote for Build Back Better until their official cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency.

Critics have questioned the White House’s insistence that the measures would be “paid for in full” by a suppression of tax evasion, a corporate minimum profit tax and a new tax surcharge for people earning more than $ 10 million a year.

Swamp notes

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