The US Senate approves a massive infrastructure bill.
Late Wednesday, the US Senate voted to advance a historic trillion-dollar infrastructure measure, marking a breakthrough after weeks of often acrimonious discussions on a bill that President Joe Biden described as having the potential to “change America.”
If ratified by Congress and signed into law, the agreement will put unprecedented amounts of money into restoring America’s roads, bridges, and waterways, as well as ensuring that all Americans have access to broadband internet and expanding clean energy programs.
The bill was carried by a vote of 67-32, with 17 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats to officially begin debate.
The plan, which is part of Vice President Joe Biden’s massive domestic agenda, calls for $550 billion in new expenditure. It came together despite the near-collapse of the tense negotiations, which Biden and his Democratic colleagues had hoped to wrap up before Congress’s August recess.
The bill’s language has yet to be written, but because it is only a draft, the Senate can move forward with it before voting on the final text.
Republicans balked at the start of debate last week because of this scenario, and some are still warning that it might derail the proposal.
“Until this measure is really written and we have an opportunity to evaluate it, including all of the specifics, prices, and pay-fors…,” says the senator. Senator John Cornyn remarked on the Senate floor, “I will not support it.”
“I expect the majority of my Republican colleagues to share my sentiments.”
According to the White House, the agreement will create millions of good jobs and make the US economy more robust, sustainable, resilient, and just.
It’s “the most important long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in over a century,” according to Biden.
“This agreement sends a message to the rest of the world that our democracy can function, deliver, and accomplish great things,” he said, adding that the plan had the potential to “transform America and move us forward.”
The agreement will make the largest-ever federal investments in public transportation, drinking and waste water infrastructure, passenger rail since the founding of Amtrak, and bridges since the founding of the nation’s highway system.
It also contributes to addressing the climate issue by investing in renewable energy initiatives such as school and transit bus electrification and establishing an authority to oversee the establishment of a clean electrical infrastructure.
The blueprint’s bipartisan panel of negotiators cleared a major stumbling block: how to pay for the spending.
The White House stated that cash will be generated by redirecting unspent Covid emergency assistance payments, which would improve business profits. Brief News from Washington Newsday.