The United States Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
In a vote on Tuesday morning, members of the Senate advanced the $1.2 trillion package to the House of Representatives. NBC News congressional correspondent Frank Thorp reports that nineteen Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — joined all fifty Democrats in approving the legislation.
#BREAKING: Senate passes $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill in major victory for Biden https://t.co/7xkjcwaWK0 pic.twitter.com/nFmJgjuO9H
— The Hill (@thehill) August 10, 2021
The vote — a compromise on President Biden’s American Jobs Plan — concludes a negotiations process that has lasted for several months. Among other items, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocates $110 billion to roads and bridges, $73 billion to power infrastructure, $66 billion to passenger and freight rail, $65 billion to high-speed internet, and $39 billion to public transit.
“For decades, elected officials have talked about addressing our nation’s aging infrastructure,” commented Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), a lead negotiator for the bill, in a statement. “The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that passed out of the Senate today turns that talk into reality. While this bill is not perfect — as is the case with a true compromise — it provides a once-in-a-generation investment in our country’s physical infrastructure without raising taxes. That is what people and communities across the country demanded of us.”
“The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is great news for the people of New Jersey and the nation at large,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). “We have turned President Biden’s pledge to ‘Build Back Better’ from a slogan into a once-in-a-generation investment that will put millions of people to work building a more competitive, equitable, and sustainable economy for the 21st century.”
Some conservative lawmakers, however, warned about the bill’s fiscal implications.
“I’ve insisted that an infrastructure bill be fully paid for,” noted Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). “This bill misses that mark. The level of new spending Democrats insisted on will add more than $250 billion to the debt burden on our children and grandchildren. Washington must learn to live within its means, like every family in Wyoming does.”
“I voted against this infrastructure package, which is just a smoke-screen to distract from the $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend spree from the Democrats that’s just around the corner,” added Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN).
As mentioned by Hagerty, the House will reportedly refrain from voting for the legislation “unless and until” the Senate passes the Democrats’ social safety net bill — which includes funding for universal pre-kindergarten, free community college, and “environmental justice.”