On Thursday, Biden announced a deal on the bipartisan infrastructure package. However, he warned that he would not sign the package unless it is passed “in tandem” with the reconciliation bill and other Democrats’ priorities.
Biden wants to sign the package “in tandem” with other Democrats’ priorities
During a speech at the White House, Biden mentioned that for him, investment in physical and human infrastructure are “inextricably intertwined.” He then emphasized that both of these need to be addressed.
The president later continued, saying that he won’t just be signing the bipartisan bill and then forget about the rest of what he proposed.
INFRASTRUCTURE: President Biden says the bipartisan agreement and reconciliation package must both be passed, and says he won't sign one without the other. He also supports Speaker Pelosi's plan to hold up the bipartisan deal until the Senate passes a reconciliation bill pic.twitter.com/IYHURoCKwS
— Forbes (@Forbes) June 24, 2021
Biden also mentioned that he would work with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to ensure that the bipartisan deal and the reconciliation bill are passed through Congress faster.
According to the White House, the bipartisan agreement covers $579 billion in spending on infrastructure, which will be used to improve transit and rail systems, roads, bridges, and other investments.
The massive proposal will be paid for by increasing taxes and redirecting emergency funds, including the unused employment compensations.
Moreover, a White House document gave a rough breakdown of the expenses. For example, there will be $312 billion allocations for transportation projects, $109 billion for roads and bridges, and $66 billion for passenger and freight trail allocations.
Biden: neither party got everything they wanted
Biden then mentioned that neither party got everything they wanted in this infrastructure deal. He then noted that this is what it means to compromise, as the package reflects consensus.
Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio agreed, saying that it is a good compromise to help the American people.
Portman said that he is pleased to see that both parties were able to come together to agree on an infrastructure package.
However, the deal could still encounter several obstacles in Congress.
On the other hand, Democrat Senator Michael Bennet said he doesn’t think either of the bills can pass without the other. He continued, stating that the House would not consider a vote on the infrastructure package until the Senate passed the separate budget reconciliation bill; this would require the vote of all 50 Democrats in the chamber.
Many Democrat lawmakers expressed their agreement to back up the infrastructure package as long as it is linked together with the Democrats-only multitrillion bill.
… mcconnell on the bipartisan infrastructure deal: “i think we’ve gone from optimism to pessimism.” pic.twitter.com/BJr7no1Sos
— fake nick ramsey (@nick_ramsey) June 24, 2021
The few months of political divide highlighted how fragile the Democrat power is and how Biden’s agenda stands on insecure ground.
A few hours after Biden revealed the agreement on the infrastructure deal, Republican leaders were already shutting it down. The GOP pointed out that Biden stated he would only sign the package if passed with other exclusive Democrat agendas.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell mentioned that Republicans lost optimism after this remark from President Biden.