For months now, Congress has been debating and voting on a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
The bill, termed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (HR3684), was first passed by a 221-201 vote on July 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate approved the bill on August 10 in a 69-30 vote.
The House is now considering the Senate’s version of the bill due to differences in the legislation between the two chambers.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has scheduled a vote on the bill in the House for September 30.
But in a surprising development, according to The Washington Times, “At least 60 House progressives currently plan to vote against the infrastructure bill – more than enough to tank it – and Republicans are whipping against the legislation to help the far-left Democrats bring down the bill.”
The Times notes that “at least 10 GOP lawmakers have publicly stated they will support the bill.”
The reason progressives are breaking ranks and opting to vote against the bill, which they would normally support, is because Congress has not yet passed President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending bill. Progressives want Congress to approve that bill first.
“Progressives will vote for both bills, but a majority of our members will only vote for the infrastructure bill after the President’s visionary Build Back Better Act passes,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said in a statement.
The House of Representatives currently has 220 Democrat members, 212 Republican ones and three vacant seats. The House requires a simple majority vote to pass a bill meaning 217 members will need to vote in favor of the infrastructure bill for it to pass.
As The Daily Citizen previously reported, the bill would spend $450 billion to continue programs that were previously approved and $550 billion on new projects. We noted that the latter allocation includes:
- Roads, bridges, major projects – $48 billion
- Transportation safety programs – $11 billion
- Public transit – buses and trains – $39 billion
- Amtrak – $66 billion
- Electric Vehicle infrastructure (charging stations) – $7.5 billion
- School buses and ferries – $7.5 billion
- Reconnecting communities (divided by highway projects) – $1 billion
- Airports, ports and waterways – $42 billion
- Resilience and western water infrastructure (protecting power facilities from natural disasters) – $50 billion
- Clean drinking water (replacing lead piping systems) – $55 billion
- High-speed internet – $65 billion
- Environmental remediation (Superfund cleanup projects) – $21 billion
- Power infrastructure (modernizing the electric power grid) – $73 billion
There’s speculation among lawmakers that, due to the bill’s near certain failure, Speaker Pelosi will delay and reschedule a vote on the bill for a later date.
“Nancy will pull it. We’re pretty sure she won’t put it up for a vote,” one senator told The Hill.
The United States public national debt now stands at over $28 trillion. The federal government already spends $378 billion of taxpayer’s hard-earned money each year on interest on the national debt alone.
If the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better bill both become law, that will be $4.5 trillion spent by the federal government just this year, paid for either by taxpayers or future generations saddled with our ever-growing debt.
Focus President Jim Daly recently pointed out, “As moms and dads, we work hard to carefully budget and spend only the money we have at our disposal. With the exception of a mortgage, we can lose sleep over the money we owe on our credit cards and auto and student loans. We have to adjust to live within our means.
“Uncle Sam? Not so much, or so it seems.”
Photo from Shutterstock.