After weeks of uncertainty, the House approved a $550 billion infrastructure bill on Friday night. It passed 228-206, delivering it to President Biden’s office in a long-awaited breakthrough for Democrats.
They could only do it with Republican assistance
The bill has been stuck in the House since its Senate ratification in August, due to Democrats’ internal fighting. Its passing is the result of bipartisan upper-house deliberations on roads, railroads, the internet, among other issues.
With the exception of six Democrats, just 13 House Republicans voted in favor of the bill. It passed the House after a lot of back-and-forth between Democrat leaders and leftists who wanted to couple the infrastructure bill with a second, more radical party-line social expenditure plan.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sacrificed six Democrats in the end, all of whom were leftists. Also, the number of conservatives who voted in support provided Pelosi’s side with more leeway on the ground.
The incredible shrinking social infrastructure bill hangs on the promise in a handwritten note from 5 "centrist" Democrats to vote for it after they see the analysis from the Congressional Budget Office. Liberalism.https://t.co/VMsHmICkPt
— Ashley Smith (@AshleyAreeSmith) November 6, 2021
The large bulk of those conservatives postponed their support until Democrats were able to secure a majority of the votes on their own. As liberals realized they would have enough support to pass the package, the vibe on the House floor was jubilant.
Whilst the clock reached midnight, senators remained on the floor to send the bill to Biden’s office, celebrating, high-fiving, and patting each other on the back.
Pelosi brought up the infrastructure package with a vote on a second bill on Friday, hoping to keep a promise she made to her party that the two should pass the House at the same time.
However, Pelosi was compelled to delay a vote on the environmental and social safety net package. This set the stage for passage of a rule allowing the bill to be debated as early as the week before Nov. 15.
Pelosi did so in the face of opposition from a small group of centrists. They persisted in awaiting an impartial cost estimate before voting on the much larger measure, which includes investments in healthcare and care for children.
The alt-left has been defeated
Attempts to approve infrastructure measures in September and October were thwarted, as progressives vowed to kill it if the social expenditure bill was not brought up for a vote as well.
House centrists were enraged by the so-called “two-track strategy,” which wanted the infrastructure bill to pass sooner and opposed the legislation being linked.
As the White House claims the Build Back Better Act costs $0, budget experts- and even some of my moderate Democrat colleagues- say the true cost of the bill will be closer to $4 trillion.
Build Back Better is reckless, irresponsible spending. https://t.co/x69WIKDzEe
— Frank Lucas (@RepFrankLucas) November 5, 2021
In the Senate, the construction bill received 19 Republican votes, notably Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s. Nevertheless, its support in the House has dwindled, with some conservatives declaring their opposition when Democrats publicly connected it to the social spending measure.
The midterms hang over the Democrats’ intra-caucus wrangling. They’re still reeling from their election losses on Tuesday, but hoping the passage of the infrastructure bill will give them a boost.