Nancy Pelosi finally cobbled together enough votes to have the House pass Joe Biden’s enormous $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill late Friday evening.
With a small House Progressive Caucus still holding out and refusing to support the bill, the measure passed by 228 to 206. The bill required 218 “yes” votes to pass, and the vote saw 13 Republicans go along with 215 Democrats.
In August, the Senate passed the most enormous infrastructure-related bill in American history with 69 “yes” votes, including 19 Republicans. The law is now on its way to Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
The Democrats in the progressive caucus who voted against the bill were still demanding that the more prominent and controversial “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation spending bill be presented along with the infrastructure bill.
Leading the group of dissatisfied progressives, who was reported as saying, “I’m a ‘no.’ This is bulls***.” AOC’s fellow progressive Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also voted against the infrastructure bill. Omar said she could not “in good conscience” vote for the bill without voting on Biden’s “transformative agenda first.”
Leading the group of 13 Republicans who allowed the bill to pass was Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a notorious anti-Trump legislator who has announced his retirement. Redistricting in Illinois this year by the Democratic state legislature all but assured he would not be re-elected.
Biden called the measure a “once-in-a-generation investment in our people.” He added that he believes that generations from now, people will look back at this bill as “when America won the economic competition for the 21st Century.”
Democrats will surely use the passage of the infrastructure bill in their effort to end intraparty squabbles long enough to negotiate a budget reconciliation bill that can attract 218 House and 50 Senate votes. It remains to be seen if Republicans will be able to do much other than sitting on the sidelines and watching, now that the GOP has helped push the infrastructure bill across the finish line.