Biden, Democrats celebrate after $1.2T infrastructure bill passes — despite some 'no' votes

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House passes $1.2T infrastructure bill sending it to Biden’s desk

Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram has the latest on the House passing the bill late Friday night

President Biden and House Democrats celebrated overnight after the passage of the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which ended weeks of deadlock amid infighting between the party’s moderates and progressives. 

“Tonight, we took a monumental step forward as a nation,” Biden said in a statement issued by the White House early Saturday.

Biden, who has been urging Democrats to pass the signature item on his agenda, called the legislation a “once-in-a-generation investment in our people.” 

But while the vote was a badly needed win for the Biden administration following a disappointing Election Night for the party earlier in the week, it was not unanimous: Six progressive Democrats voted against the bill.

Thirteen Republicans, however, crossed the aisle to help get the measure passed – drawing criticism from some of their GOP colleagues.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., accompanied by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. 
(Associated Press)

After the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., posted her reaction on Twitter.

“Tonight, I proudly signed the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and sent it to @POTUS to be signed into law,” Pelosi wrote. “This bill delivers a once-in-a-century investment in our infrastructure, creates good-paying jobs and takes a crucial step to #BuildBackBetter For The People.”

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who has led previous efforts to derail votes for the infrastructure bill unless they aligned with the more expensive Build Back Better Act, which remains up for debate, voted for bipartisan plan Friday. She too tweeted a statement after midnight Saturday.

“I voted to send legislation to President Biden’s desk that delivers a necessary and long-overdue investment in our roads, bridges, waterways, and transit systems that will directly impact our communities while creating millions of good paying, union jobs,” Jayapal wrote. She said there was much left to be done and that she would continue to fight for working families. 

Moderate Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., said the votes “represent a major victory for our nation, for New Jersey, for pragmatic problem solving, and for our middle class families.” He had previously expressed frustration with progressives over the bill.  

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., agreed the Build Back Better Act needed to be passed as well. 

“I just voted yes on the infrastructure package,” he tweeted. “It will benefit millions of workers and families. But unless we invest in our people too, the job is not even half finished. We can’t stop until we pass the Build Back Better Act. We need a new, New Deal.”

The ‘No’ votes

Progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar explained her “no” vote in a long statement, writing in part, “Passing the infrastructure bill without passing the Build Back Better Act first risks leaving behind childcare, paid leave, health care, climate action, housing, education, and a roadmap to citizenship.” 

Fellow progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Cori Bush, D-Mo.; Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., also voted against it. The progressives had previously derailed votes on the bill. 

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