Senate passes massive bipartisan infrastructure package

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 2:43 PM ET, Wed August 11, 2021
20 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:49 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

Key things to know about the bipartisan infrastructure bill now headed to the House

From CNN's Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby

The Senate's massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure package marked a big bipartisan achievement after months of negotiations.

The legislation, which still needs to be passed by the House, would provide $550 billion in new federal spending over five years.

Here are the key things to know about the bill:

Not just traditional infrastructure: The new investments would reach far beyond the traditional infrastructure projects for roads, bridges and railroads. There's also money to improve Americans' access to broadband, for electric school buses, new tax regulations on cryptocurrencies, delaying a drug rebate rule and to start addressing racial discrimination in infrastructure. 

Compromise reached to pay for package: The bipartisan bill does not include corporate tax hikes, like President Biden first proposed to pay for the spending. Instead, lawmakers found other ways to help cover the cost, like imposing new Superfund fees and repurposing some Covid relief funds approved by Congress during the pandemic. Additional costs that are not covered through those methods would be covered by $519 billion in offsets, according to negotiators.

What's missing?: The deal leaves out Biden's proposal to spend $400 billion to bolster caregiving for aging Americans and those with disabilities — the second largest measure in the American Jobs Plan.

Also left on the sideline: $100 billion for workforce development, which would have helped dislocated workers, assisted underserved groups and put students on career paths before they graduate high school.

The deal also leaves out the $18 billion Biden proposed to modernize the Veterans Affairs hospitals, which are on average 47 years older than private-sector hospitals.

The legislation is now headed to the House of Representatives, where it faces an uncertain future before reaching Biden’s desk.  

4:14 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

House progressives urge Democratic leadership to pair spending packages — or risk their votes

From CNN's Kristin Wilson 

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MI) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) listen as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a bill enrollment signing ceremony for the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. 
Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MI) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) listen as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a bill enrollment signing ceremony for the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.  Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer today saying they will not support the now-Senate-passed infrastructure bill until Democrats warned the House leadership that a majority of their members will withhold their support for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill until their priorities are included in the larger spending package that will be taken up this fall.

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus has recently concluded an internal survey of its 96 members regarding the urgency of ensuring that a narrow bipartisan infrastructure agreement is enacted on the condition that a robust package of social, human and climate infrastructure – reflecting all Democrats’ longstanding priorities – is simultaneously passed by simple majorities in Congress through the budget reconciliation process,” they wrote.

In their letter – signed by Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Katie Porter and Ilhan Omar – they write that they “encourage” the leaders to “engage with our caucus” and “that the Senate first adopts this reconciliation package before House consideration of any bipartisan infrastructure legislation” putting them at odds with House moderates who wrote to Pelosi urging her to put the bipartisan infrastructure package up for a vote without pairing it to the broader package.

4:02 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

Biden: "This bill shows that we can work together" 

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden praised the bipartisan outcome of the infrastructure bill and thanked both Democrats and Republicans for keeping their word in passing it through the Senate.

"This bill shows that we can work together. I know a lot of people, some sitting in the audience here, didn't think this could happen... That bipartisanship was a thing of the past. From the time I announced my candidacy... It was characterized as a relic of an earlier age. As you may well remember, I never believe that. I still don't. So, I want to thank those senators who worked so hard to bring this agreement together. I know it wasn't easy," Biden said during remarks from the White House.

Biden specifically thanked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his support, adding that the "Republicans who supported this bill, you showed a lot of courage. I want to personally thank you for that. And I've called most of you on the phone to do just that. You have and, no doubt you will, disagree with me on many issues. Where we can agree, we should. Here on this bill, we proved we can still come together to do big things, important things for the American people."

The bill passed by a bipartisan majority of 69-30, with 19 Republican senators voting for the bill, including McConnell.

Biden also praised Democrats for pushing for the legislation. "We can be proud of this unprecedented investments that are going to transform the nation and change millions of lives for the better," he said.

Biden also acknowledged that the Senate passage is just the one part of the process, and now faces its next journey in the House.

"Let's be clear. Work is far from done. The bill now has to go to the House of Representatives where I look forward to winning its approval," the President noted.

4:02 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

Biden: "After years and years of infrastructure week, we're on the cusp of an infrastructure decade"

Susan Walsh/AP
Susan Walsh/AP

President Biden thanked the bipartisan group of senators "for doing what they told me they would do" and delivering the legislation. He added that the reports of the "death of this legislation" were "premature."

"After years and years of infrastructure week, we're on the cusp of an infrastructure decade that I truly believe will transform America," Biden said.

4:16 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

Harris: This infrastructure bill will not raise taxes on the middle class

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

Vice President Kamala Harris outlined the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate today.

"Today, we move one step closer to making a once in a generation investment in our nation's infrastructure. Today Democrats, independents and Republicans in the United States Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Acts," Harris said in remarks from the White House.

Harris highlighted how the investments from the bill would help improve the nation's roads, bridges and transportation without raising taxes on the middle class.

"This bill that passed the Senate today gives people what they need to get where they need to go. And it will do that while also creating millions of good union jobs for our nation's workers. It will do that while also helping our nation's businesses compete worldwide. Just so we are clear, we are not going to raise middle class taxes to pay for it because that's what the President promised and that is what we must deliver," the vice president said.

Watch here:

5:26 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

NOW: Biden and Harris speak after the Senate's passage of the infrastructure bill

From CNN's Betsy Klein, Ali Zaslav and Clare Foran

Susan Walsh/AP
Susan Walsh/AP

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are delivering remarks on the Senate's passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill from the White House.

As CNN's Jeff Zeleny reported Monday, the President wants to take a bit of a victory lap even though the deal is far from the finish line. It comes as the administration is looking to shore up support in August, when presidencies historically face a bit of a slump. 

The bill — called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — features $550 billion in new federal spending over five years:

  • It invests $110 billion in roads, bridges and major projects
  • $66 billion in passenger and freight rail
  • $65 billion to rebuild the electric grid
  • $65 billion to expand broadband internet access
  • $39 billion to modernize and expand transit systems
  • $7.5 billion to build a national network of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles
  • $55 billion for water infrastructure, $15 billion of which will be directed toward replacing lead pipes.

What happens next: The House of Representatives will likely not take up the bill until the fall. The House is out for August recess and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that the chamber won't take up the bipartisan bill until Senate Democrats pass a separate and more expansive package without GOP votes under the budget reconciliation process, a stand that has been met with criticism from Republicans and pushback from some moderate Democrats.

2:12 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

Americans will feel impacts of infrastructure package within months, commerce secretary says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that Americans will begin to feel the effects of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package "very soon," assuming it clears through the House of Representatives.

"We have many shovel-ready projects. We know that we have to start laying fiber to connect everybody to broadband. So Americans will feel it within a matter of months certainly," Raimondo said, calling it a "big step forward" for the country.

While timing on the House vote remains unclear, Raimondo told CNN's Ana Cabrera she is confident it will pass.

Raimondo predicted that the package would create millions of jobs within the next decade.

"There will be more technical jobs created ... particularly in the broadband package, but the very important point is we will be unleashing millions of jobs on top of that. You know, think about all the small businesses that now don't have high-speed internet that will get high-speed internet. They will be that much more productive and hire that many more people. And on and on. So it's not just the immediate jobs created. It's the fact that investing in infrastructure makes our economy stronger and will grow faster and create jobs on top of that," she said.

On the current surplus of available jobs in the US, Raimondo said that President Biden's reconciliation package will include job training and investments in community college and child care. She also said that more Americans need to get vaccinated so workers can feel safe.

12:06 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

These are the 19 Republicans who voted in favor of the infrastructure bill

From CNN's Ali Zaslav, Clare Foran, Morgan Rimmer and Kristin Wilson

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The US Senate passed a historic, sweeping $1.2 trillion bipartisan package on Tuesday by a wide bipartisan majority vote of 69-30 to shore up the nation’s crumbling infrastructure with funding for priorities like roads, bridges, rail, transit and the electric grid.

The vote marks a major achievement for both parties and President Biden, fulfilling key agenda items, including his promise to work across the aisle. It now heads to the House of Representatives, where it faces an uncertain future, before it can be sent to Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

Vice President Kamala Harris gaveled the final vote.

These 19 Republican senators joined Democrats in voting for the bipartisan infrastructure deal:

  1. Roy Blunt of Missouri
  2. Richard Burr of North Carolina
  3. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
  4. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
  5. Susan Collins of Maine
  6. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota
  7. Mike Crapo of Idaho
  8. Deb Fischer of Nebraska
  9. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
  10. Chuck Grassley of Iowa
  11. John Hoeven of North Dakota
  12. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
  13. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  14. Rob Portman of Ohio
  15. Jim Risch of Idaho
  16. Mitt Romney of Utah
  17. Dan Sullivan of Alaska
  18. Thom Tillis of North Carolina
  19. Roger Wicker of Mississippi
12:13 p.m. ET, August 10, 2021

Sen. Graham, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week, spotted on Senate floor with mask

From CNN's Morgan Rimmer 

After announcing that he had tested positive for Covid-19 last Monday, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham returned to the Senate floor today, masked, to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package. 

He voted in favor of the bill.