WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Saturday touted the passage of a $ 555 billion infrastructure bill on Friday evening, hailing an important, albeit delayed, victory after weeks of internal party struggles topped off by a rush of last-minute negotiations.
Biden said he was also confident that a separate $ 1.75 trillion safety net would also be passed by the House and Senate. He praised House Democrats for removing a procedural hurdle on this legislation, which would dramatically expand some of the government programs, like those serving parents and children, and invest heavily in clean energy.
Biden said the bills will have a direct effect on the current economic struggles many Americans face by creating union jobs, repairing crumbling roads and bridges, expanding broadband internet access and helping communities resist the effects of climate change. The benefits will not only have a direct impact on people’s daily lives, but will also help the United States become more competitive globally, he said.
“I really believe that 50 years from now people will look back and say that was the time, that was the time this year and the next two years when Americans decided to win the competition of the 21st century, for get into the game, full bore, ”Biden said.
The infrastructure bill, which was passed by the Senate in August, still needs Biden’s signature before it goes into effect. Biden said he plans to hold a bipartisan signing ceremony at the White House when members involved in passing the bill can attend. He made the remarks before heading to his home in Delaware for the weekend.
Moving the bills forward is a much-needed victory for Biden after a series of setbacks at home and abroad in the past three months. His approval rating has dropped 7 points since August, with just 42% of adults saying they approve of Biden’s overall work as president, according to an NBC News poll.
White House officials blame Congress ‘inability to act sooner on Democrats’ losses in Tuesday’s election and hope the measures will give their party something to do in the 2022 midterm election.
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“They want us to deliver,” Biden said of voters. “Last night we proved we could, on a big item we delivered.”
Biden said he spent a lot of time working with members to engage them, arguing that no bill will solve all the problems or have exactly what they want. He also said he spent a lot of time building relationships with and trusting the members after years of absence.
Six Democrats voted against the measure and 13 Republicans voted in favor. The Democratic opposition was made up of progressive members who were unhappy that the bill was passed before a $ 1.75 trillion social security spending bill was passed.
“I was able in the Senate to bring things together when people said they couldn’t be together just arguing that they can’t have everything you want, it’s a process,” said Biden. “There isn’t one law that’s going to solve everyone’s problems.”