January 28, 2023

The Senate on Tuesday passed a $ 1 trillion infrastructure package and sent the provision to improve the country’s roads, bridges, and broadband to the House of Representatives for approval.

But progressive Democrats in the House of Representatives who want to keep their election promises before the mid-term elections in 2022 could pose new hurdles for the cross-party infrastructure plan.

Progressives aren’t expected to make dramatic changes to the infrastructure bill, but they do insist that the Senate pass a separate $ 3.5 trillion budget first, focusing on poverty, climate change, and health care.

The House was expected from its September 20 hiatus, but later on Tuesday House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the House would return on August 23 to review the larger spending plan.

The infrastructure proposal is the product of months of haggling between Republicans and Democrats and includes more than $ 500 billion over projected federal spending to modernize the country’s transportation systems.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., praised the bipartisan work shortly before the bill was passed.

“It was a long and winding road, but we persevered and have now arrived,” said Schumer from the ground. “The American people will now see the largest infusion of funds into infrastructure in decades.”

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) emerge from the Speakers’ office after a bipartisan group of Senators and White House officials fell out agreed the infrastructure plan proposed by the Biden administration at the US Capitol on June 23, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Samuel Corum | Getty Images

The bipartisan law strengthens “every major category of the physical infrastructure of our country,” he added. “Today the Senate is taking a step, decades overdue, to revitalize America’s infrastructure and give our workers, businesses, and economies the tools to thrive in the 21st century.”

The 2,700-page Infrastructure Bill is now entering the House of Representatives, where some progressives have said they will not support it until the Senate passes a separate $ 3.5 trillion bill that combats poverty, climate change and health care.

Schumer raised the budget decision immediately after the infrastructure bill was passed and before the Senate takes a break this week. The chamber voted along the party lines of 50-49 early Tuesday afternoon to proceed with the resolution.

The Senate will return for a few days on September 13th and then for a longer period starting on September 20th.

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has endorsed this position, saying she will not bring the infrastructure bill to her chamber until the Senate passes the sweeping budget proposal.

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Senate Democrats released this draft budget on Monday, which includes universal pre-kindergarten, two free years of community college, top-up Medicare, and other provisions. Schumer hopes to approve the draft of this bill and get the entire package through the Chamber to the House of Representatives through a special process known as reconciliation.

While reconciliation would allow Democrats to pass the sweeping budget decision by a simple majority, keeping the entire 50-member faction behind a bill that includes tax increases could prove difficult.

Republicans in both chambers were unanimous against the second package as an expensive package full of partisan priorities. But some moderate Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Are concerned about the price of the plan or overheating the US economy.

But if Pelosi’s plan to wait for this second bill works, it would deliver on Democratic promises to pass intergenerational infrastructure, climate change, and worker-friendly laws.

This could prove crucial to the House Speaker’s chances of retaining her House majority, which political analysts say could fall into the hands of the GOP in the 2022 midterm elections. But with a bill of up to $ 3.5 trillion, House Democrats may need time to sort out the details of the plan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, holds a press conference at the Capitol Visitor Center with House Democrats on Friday, July 30, 2021, on achievements like the For The People Act and the agenda for the remainder of the year .

Tom Williams | CQ Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

If the House of Representatives’ version contained significant changes from the Senate’s, the legislators of both houses would work together in a conference committee to settle their differences and produce a final bill.

That bill would then go back to each chamber for voting before going to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Alternatively, the Senate could simply adopt the House revision and avoid the complicated step of settling differences between the two houses in the conference committee.

When the money starts pouring in for infrastructure, it could be a few months on projects that already have permits and contractors. Paying out the other money could take about a year, depending on project approvals from state and local governments.