Biden, in his statement, said he was looking forward to signing them into law and “for generations, people will look back and know that this is the time when America has won economic competition for the 21st century.” .
His upbeat statement came after House and White House leaders spent hours trying to keep the legislation in good standing with both Democratic Party wings expressing mistrust.
“I have spoken with the president a number of times today and the president appreciates that we are working in good faith with the agreement of our colleagues,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “We trust each other because the Democratic Party is together on this, we are united that it is important for us to complete both accounts.”
A statement from the group of moderates including Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Josh Gottheimer said they will commit to voting for the economic package “in its present form” provided the Congressional Budget Office score is consistent with White House estimates of costs and revenue.
The back and forth throughout the day and threats from both sides to sink any action left some lawmakers frustrated.
“We started this day thinking we had a deal, thinking we would cast our votes – we were thrilled to cast those votes,” said Representative Jared Huffman, a progressive from California. “And then a small cohort of our colleagues moved the poles.”
However, not all progressives were ready for the deal. The six Democratic “no” votes were all part of a group of progressives often referred to as the team: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Cori Bush of Missouri and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
“I cannot in good conscience support the infrastructure bill without first voting on the president’s transformative agenda,” Omar said in a statement.
The 13 Republican “yes” votes included Fred Upton of Michigan, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, and John Katko of New York.
With the vote in doubt for much of the day, Biden made phone calls to House Democrats and postponed plans to leave Washington on Friday for his Delaware home. From the White House, he continued lobbying the Democrats late into the night.
The public works bill amounts to more than $ 1.2 trillion when regular highway dollars are taken into account. Biden promoted it as a vital step in addressing the challenge of a rising China and a test of Washington’s political capabilities at a time of severe partisan division crisis.
House Republicans argued that he did not focus enough on the roads and that passing it would “unlock” the bill on social spending, which they believe would generate inflation.
“The Senate infrastructure bill and the huge increase in taxes and spending sprees are not the will of the American people. The radical Democratic agenda to spend a reckless amount of money will increase costs and make it even more difficult to people build a better life, “Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington State Republican, said during the courtroom debate.
Approval of the bill came after Democrats failed to meet two deadlines in September and October to act on the bill, despite the president’s personal appeals.
Progressives had effectively blocked the infrastructure bill for months, maintaining their support – necessary for the passage – to gain influence over the moderate party in the fight for the largest, Democratic-only bill.