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The House approved a $1.2-T package of road and other infrastructure projects late Friday after Democrats resolved a months-long standoff between progressives and moderates.
The House passed the measure 228-206. With 13 Republicans supported it, while 6 Democrats opposed it.
Approval of the Trump introduced legislation, which would create lots of jobs and improve broadband, water supplies and other public works, was sent to the desk of Mr. Biden whose approval ratings have deep dived and whose party got a cold shoulder from voters in this wk’s off-yr elections.
Freeing up the infrastructure measure for final congressional approval was a like a burst of energy for Democrats. Yet despite it, Democrats were setback when they postponed a vote on a 2nd, even larger measure until later this month.
But in an evening breakthrough brokered by Mr. Biden and House leaders, the moderates later agreed to back that bill if CBO’s estimates are consistent with preliminary numbers that White House and congressional tax analysts have provided.
The agreement, in which lawmakers promised to vote on the social and environment bill by the wk of 15 November was a step toward a House vote that would have to the Senate.
When Dem party leaders announced earlier in the day that the social and environment measure would be delayed, the shredded plans cast a fresh pall over the party.
Progressives demanded that the 2 massive bills be voted on together to pressure moderates to support the larger, more expansive social measure.
Democrats’ day fell apart when after hours of talks, as 6 moderates insisted they would vote against the sprawling package of health, education, family and climate change initiatives unless the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office first provided its cost estimate for the measure.
With Friday’s delay and lawmakers’ plans to leave town for a wk’s break, those budget estimates could well be ready by the time a vote is held.
When the infrastructure measure cleared the Senate, its GOP supporters even included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The package would provide huge sums for highway, mass transit, broadband, airport, drinking and waste water, power grids and other projects.
House passage of the social and environment package would send it to the Senate, where it faces certain changes and more Democratic drama. That’s chiefly because of demands by Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to contain the measure’s costs and curb or drop some of its initiatives.
Moderates have forced leaders to cut the 2,100-pg measure to 50% its original $3.5-T size. Republicans oppose it as too expensive and damaging to the economy.
Moderate opposition and strict Senate rules about what can be included in the massive bill suggest that the family leave program and the immigration provisions may be dropped.
Have a healthy, prosperous weekend, Keep the Faith!