President Joe Biden on Tuesday celebrated a win for his agenda but also said more work lies ahead, as he delivered a brief speech after the Senate passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“This bill’s going to help make a historic recovery a long-term boom,” Biden said in his speech at the White House. “Folks, above all, this historic investment in infrastructure is what I believe you, the American people, want — what you’ve been asking for a long, long time. This bill shows that we can work together.”
The Senate on Tuesday voted 69-30 to approve the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, in a move that sends the $1 trillion measure over to the House of Representatives for its approval.
Democratic-run Washington is aiming to take a two-part approach to big spending. First, the bipartisan infrastructure bill has drawn the 60 or more votes in the 50-50 Senate that are needed to bypass the filibuster, as 19 Republican senators backed the measure.
Next, Senate Democrats are working to go it alone to pass a $3.5 trillion package by a simple majority vote through a process known as budget reconciliation. That bigger package calls for massive spending on efforts related to “human infrastructure,” climate change and other Democratic priorities. Initial votes on it began to take place on Tuesday in the Senate.
Biden was asked by a reporter on Tuesday why he isn’t asking the House to act right away on the bipartisan infrastructure bill rather than pair it with the larger package, given that he has said it’s urgent. He laughed and then said: “We’ll get it done. I’ll get both.”
The president also said he expects a “significant portion if not all” of the $3.5 trillion package will get passed. In addition, he said he respected Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s intention to resign over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations but the situation was sad, as Cuomo has “done a hell of a job” as governor on infrastructure and other issues.
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky for being among the Republicans who supported the infrastructure bill. Trump also blasted Democrats’ $3.5 trillion plan, which calls for tax hikes on companies and wealthy Americans.
“Nobody will ever understand why Mitch McConnell allowed this non-infrastructure bill to be passed,” Trump said in a statement. “He is working so hard to give Biden a victory, now they’ll go for the big one, including the biggest tax increases in the history of our Country.”
booked record closes Tuesday as the Senate passed the infrastructure bill and investors awaited readings on inflation.