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Senate passes Biden's bipartisan $1T infrastructure package, bill moves to House

Senate now working on $3.5T budget deal
Joe Biden President
Posted at 2:34 AM, Aug 10, 2021

The Senate has given its final approval to a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan.

A coalition of more than 20 Democrats and Republicans lifted the first phase of President Joe Biden's rebuilding agenda to passage.

In remarks on Tuesday afternoon, Biden touted the bill as a "historic investment" on the scale of the New Deal and the Intestate Highway System.

"This bill, I believe, will make the most important investment in public transportation in American history," Biden said.

The package passed with a final vote of 69-30. Nineteen Republicans joined Senate Democrats in passing the legislation.

Biden lauded the Republicans who crossed the aisle Thursday, saying the group had a "lot of courage."

"This bill shows that we can work together," Biden said. "...Today, we proved that Democracy can still work, but we have a lot more to do."

Passage of the bill on Tuesday sends the bill to the House, which will need to pass it before sending it to Biden's desk.

A handful of Republicans have been attempting to slow the bill throughout the process.

On Sunday, Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tennessee, refused to back down on the amount of mandatory debate time for the bill, stretching the process early this week.

Senators have spent the past few weeks making amendments and changes to the bill, but none have substantially changed the framework. According to NPR, some of those amendments include a section on cryptocurrency and a section that repurposes unused COVID-19 relief.

After voting on the bill Tuesday, the Senate immediately launched into early votes on Biden's next package — the $3.5 trillion plan budget that is a more strictly Democratic undertaking — beginning a debate that will extend into fall.

The budget plan contains several provisions Biden had originally hoped would be part of the infrastructure passage, like increased childcare and eldercare access. However, Senate Democrats agreed to remove those provisions from the infrastructure package to strike a bipartisan deal with Republicans.

In his remarks Thursday afternoon, Biden said he's confident in the passage of the budget bill.

"I think we will get enough Democrats to vote for the (budget bill), and I think the house will put two bills on my desk — one for infrastructure, and one for budget reconciliation," Biden said.