A Bipartisan Deal on Infrastructure and a Path Forward for the Rest of the Biden/Harris Economic Plan

Today was potentially a great day for the American People.

The Biden/Harris Administration has come to an agreement with a bipartisan group of Senators (including Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema) on the framework for a $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan.

The other nine Senators that joined President Biden and Senator Sinema outside the White House were Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Jeanne Shaheen,  Bill Cassidy, Joe Machin, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, John Tester, and Mark Warner.

In his comments with the Senators, President Biden said that Congress will move on a “dual-track,” to pass this bipartisan measure with at least 60 votes and a probable Democrats only measure that incorporates many of the Biden/Harris American Jobs and Families remaining economic priorities, through reconciliation that will need only 51 votes.

The President praised the bipartisan efforts of the ten Senators that accompanied them, saying:

“A lot of us go back a long way…We give each other our word and that’s the end…Where I come from, that’s good enough for me.”

The deal agreed to by the bipartisan group of Senators and the White House includes the following funding provisions:

“Total $579 billion in new spending. 
Transportation $312
Roads, bridges, major projects $109
Safety $11
Public transit $49
Passenger and Freight Rail $66
EV infrastructure $7.5
Electric buses / transit $7.5
Reconnecting communities $1
Airports $25
Ports & Waterways $16
Infrastructure Financing $20
Other Infrastructure $266
Water infrastructure $55
Broadband infrastructure $65
Environmental remediation $21
Power infrastructure incl. grid authority $73
Western Water Storage $5
Resilience $47
New spending + baseline (over 5 years) = $973B
New spending + baseline (over 8 years) = $1,209B”

This deal includes funds for:

  • Removing lead water pipes from communities that still have them and replacing them with safe ones.
  • Expanding rural broadband.
  • Modernizing the electric grid.
  • Rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, rail, waterways, and airports.
  • Electric Vehicle infrastructure including charging stations.
  • The creation of millions of good-paying jobs.

This is a good deal that should pass both houses of Congress.

Is it everything Democrats want?

No, but as the President later said in a more formal announcement of the infrastructure deal inside the White House with Vice President Kamala Harris and reporters:

“…Let me be clear: Neither side got everything they wanted in this deal, and that’s what it means to compromise. And it reflects something important: It reflects consensus. The heart of democracy requires consensus. And it’s time a true — this time a true bipartisan effort, breaking the ice that too often has kept us frozen in place and prevented us from solving the real problems facing the American people.”

In a nod to solidify Progressive support in Congress, Mr. Biden said that he would not sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless the reconciliation bill that contains many of his Administration’s other priorities also passes both the House and Senate.

Responding to a series of White House reporters questions on this position, the President said:

“Q Mr. President, you said you want both of these measures to come to you “in tandem.” Did you receive any assurances that that would happen? And how do you anticipate — what will you do if —

THE PRESIDENT: I control that.

Q — they don’t get to you in time?

THE PRESIDENT: If they don’t come, I’m not signing. Real simple.

So, but I expect — I expect that in the — the coming months this summer, before the count — the fiscal year is over, that we will have voted on this bill, as well — the infrastructure bill — as well as voted on the budget record [sic] — resolution.

And that’s when they’ll — but if only one comes to me, I’m not — and if this is the only thing that comes to me, I’m not signing it. It’s in tandem.

Q Mr. President, do you support, then, Speaker Pelosi’s stated plan to hold the bipartisan deal in the House until the Senate also passes reconciliation? Do you support that sequencing on her part?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q But, Mr. President, your own party is not on the same page about the reconciliation package. So, by moving forward with this two-track system, are you putting the bipartisan bill in jeopardy?

THE PRESIDENT: Sure, the bipartisan bill was — look, the bipartisan bill, from the very beginning, was understood there was going to have to be the second part of it. I’m not just signing the bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest I — that I proposed. I proposed a significant piece of legislation in three parts. And all — all three parts are equally important.

And, by the way, my party — you keep — everybody tell — tells me my party is — my party is divided. Well, my party is divided. My party is divided, but my party is also rational. If they can’t get every single thing they want, but all that they have in the bill is that — before them is good, are they going to vote “no”? I don’t think so.”

In response to the announcement of the dual-track and the bipartisan infrastructure plan, Charlie Fisher, the Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party. stated:

“After years of Donald Trump repeatedly promising and failing to deliver an infrastructure package, President Joe Biden has—with the help of Arizona’s own Senator Kyrsten Sinema—delivered on his promise to invest crucial funding to improve public transit, repair our crumbling roads and bridges, and address the climate crisis while investing in a new, green economy.”

“Democrats are delivering on the promises they made to the American people—and they’re only getting started.”

So today was potentially a great day for the American People.

There is a path forward for both a bipartisan infrastructure plan (remember nothing like this happened in the Trump/Pence Administration) and a budget reconciliation passage that will incorporate many Biden-Harris and Congressional Democratic priorities that will create millions of good-paying jobs, lift up the poor, expand the middle class, and move the country forward.

The key will be maintaining support for all the key House and Senate members for the next two to three months.

If today’s developments are prologue, there should be a lot for the American People to celebrate the end of this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “A Bipartisan Deal on Infrastructure and a Path Forward for the Rest of the Biden/Harris Economic Plan”

  1. David, right now I’m not betting that either will pass. The progressives are expected to cave, as usual, in the interest of getting anything at all legislated. Bernie is just trying to stand firm, I don’t think the dollar amount is the issue. The GOP won’t support the reconciliation bill, period.

    But here’s what’s interesting. Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday (CNN):

    “There ain’t gonna be no bipartisan bill, unless we have a reconciliation bill,” she said. “As I said, there won’t be an infrastructure bill, unless we have a reconciliation bill. Plain and simple. In fact, I use the word ain’t. There ain’t going to be an infrastructure bill, unless we have the reconciliation bill passed by the United States Senate,” she reiterated.

    So, the GOP is demanding it’s their way or no way. Biden tried to satisfy the the progressives but he’s got DINOs in the Senate and a 50-50 split. So what are his options?

    If the Senate does manage to pass the skinny infrastructure bill then I guess it’s up to the House Speaker what happens next.

    Basically, it’s a clusterf**k unless the progressives just give up. It would surely help if her majesty Queen Kyrsten and that other idiot Joe Manchin would just simply cooperate with the Democrats. The GOP is running down the clock until 2022 with the help of S&M.

    • Hi Liza

      I think both bills will pass but there will a lot of political theater and posturing until the final versions pass. The joys of a closely divided Congress.

  2. Bernie Sanders
    @SenSanders
    Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change. No reconciliation bill, no deal. We need transformative change NOW.
    1:11 PM · Jun 27, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

    • Note Senator Sanders did not put a dollar amount to the reconciliation bill. My guess is both bills will pass but the dollar amount of the reconciliation one will probably not be six trillion dollars.

  3. So Biden walked it back on requiring the two bills are legislated “in tandem”.

    Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Appears to Be Back on Track After Biden Walkback
    BY DANIEL POLITI
    JUNE 27, 20215:29 PM

    It was a stressful 48 hours for the White House but it seems the damage has been averted. On Sunday, it looked like the bipartisan deal on a plan to invest $1.2 trillion to rebuild the country’s infrastructure was ready to move forward once again. Moderate Republicans who were always at the heart of the deal said they were reassured by President Joe Biden reversing himself and saying he would sign the infrastructure package independent of what happens with a larger economic package that includes lots of Democratic priorities that many in the GOP oppose.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/06/bipartisan-infrastructure-bill-back-biden-walkback.html

  4. GOP senators warn they could pull support for Biden deal
    BY JORDAIN CARNEY – 06/25/21 02:52 PM EDT

    Republican senators are warning that they could drop their support for a bipartisan infrastructure framework amid growing GOP fury over President Biden’s plan to link it to a Democratic-only bill.

    GOP Sens. Jerry Moran (Kan.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both signaled on Friday that their support, and eventual vote, for the bipartisan infrastructure deal — announced at the White House just yesterday — is tenuous if Democrats insist it has to move in tandem with a larger Democratic-only infrastructure plan.

    “No deal by extortion! It was never suggested to me during these negotiations that President Biden was holding hostage the bipartisan infrastructure proposal unless a liberal reconciliation package was also passed,” Graham tweeted on Friday.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a member of the core group of negotiations, told reporters on Thursday that Biden’s remarks had “turned everything upside down.”
    “We thought we had a commitment from the president … but now he’s making that conditional,” Cassidy said.

    Moran and Graham were not part of the group at the White House, but they were part of a larger group of 21 senators who have thrown their support behind the framework, including putting out a joint statement on Thursday after the White House meeting.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/560292-gop-senators-warn-they-could-pull-support-for-biden-deal

  5. A “dual track” that requires two pieces of legislation, one “bi-partisan” and the other “Democrats only?”

    And I’m sure that Manchin and Sinema are doing victory laps and feeling vindicated for digging in their heels on ending the filibuster because just looky here, the Senate is bi-partisan.

    Infrastructure legislation is of major importance, to be sure, and it’s long overdue. If they have to do it in pieces to satisfy the GOP and Manchin and Sinema, then it’s better than no progress at all.

    I do think, however, that voting rights are more important and I suspect that all of this bi-partisanship in the Senate will not extend that far. The GOP will continue their voter suppression strategies at the state level to take back the Senate and the House in 2022. It’s good that the DOJ has joined the fight, but the Senate should be defending our right to vote as well.

  6. Way less than half of what Biden proposed, but still progress, I guess.

    It was painful watching Sinema crowd herself into the photos while Biden was making the announcement.

    She wants vindication for her malarkey about the filibuster and bipartisanship, and this ain’t it.

    I’m glad something got done, I really am, and I get what Biden is trying to do, ease America away from Dumpism, one step at a time, but I’m not forgetting.

    Vote her out.

  7. If Sinema, et. al. like something (in this case, a nearly 75% surrender to the Rs, it probably isn’t good for Americans.

Comments are closed.