A landmark $1tn (£741bn) infrastructure spending package in US Congress

The US Congress has passed a landmark $1tn (£741bn) infrastructure spending package, delivering a major domestic win to President Joe Biden. Negotiations over the sweeping public works bill – which passed the House of Representatives with 228-206 vote – created a bitter split among Democrats.
Meanwhile the House is moving forward with a more ambitious social spending bill favoured by liberal lawmakers.
The infrastructure package now heads to Mr Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
Billed as a “once-in-a-generation” spending measure, the infrastructure legislation proposes $550bn in direct federal expenditure to upgrade highways, roads and bridges, and to modernise city transit systems and passenger rail networks.
The agreement also sets aside funding for clean energy, clean drinking water and high speed internet.Three months ago, 19 Republicans joined with Democrats to approve the legislation in the evenly split Senate, a rare bipartisan feat in an increasingly divided Congress.
On Friday the bill passed the House with support from 13 Republicans, too. But more liberal lawmakers balked at its final version, complaining that key liberal policies had been dropped in exchange for the bipartisan win.
Six Democrats voted against it, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. The group of six – dubbed The Squad – are among the most left-wing and progressive members of the House.
Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus pledged they would not support the infrastructure bill until they had voted on a separate social welfare bill that allocates $1.75tn for healthcare, education and climate change initiatives.
Democrats control both chambers of Congress by very slim majorities, so near-universal support would be required for the bill’s passage.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*