Biden to Sign Infrastructure Bill on Nov. 15: White House

By Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord is a Congressional reporter for The Epoch Times who focuses on the Democrats. He got his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Clemson University and was a scholar in the Lyceum Program.
November 10, 2021 Updated: November 10, 2021

President Joe Biden will sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Nov. 15, according to the White House.

In a statement, White House officials wrote: “On Monday, the President will host a bipartisan bill signing ceremony for his Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“The President will be joined by Members of Congress who helped write this landmark economic growth bill and by a diverse group of leaders who fought for its passage across the country, ranging from Governors and Mayors of both parties to labor union and business leaders.”

The White House applauded the bill, which it said is in accord with Biden’s “commitment to rebuild the middle class.”

Specifically, the White House said the bill will bring about “millions of good-paying, union jobs for working people, improvements in our ports and transportation systems that strengthen supply chains, high-speed internet for every American, clean water for all children and families, the biggest investments in our roads and bridges in generations, the most significant investment in mass transit ever, and unprecedented investments in clean energy infrastructure.”

The White House also claimed that the infrastructure bill will help to corral the burgeoning inflation crisis, after a grim report from the Department of Labor at the beginning of the month showed that consumer prices had increased 0.9 percent in October, after increasing by 0.4 percent the month before.

“A large body of experts have shown that these infrastructure investments will help to act against inflationary pressures,” the statement says, “by making it easier to receive the unparalleled volume of goods that need to be moved after we achieved the re-opening of the economy this summer.”

The president has also said that a “top priority” of his administration will be to get inflation further under control.

The signing of this bill on Nov. 15 will be a much-needed win for Biden, who has been unable to bring together his divided party in Congress for months.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill (BIF) was created originally in the Senate. The bill’s creation was supported by members of both parties in the upper chamber.

Especially critical to its crafting and passage through the Senate were moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). The two senators, who maintain cordial relations with Senate Republicans, worked to craft a deal that could win at least some Republican support.

The final draft of this bill calls for a total spending of $1.2 trillion, riding on the back of around $5 trillion in COVID-19 relief packages the year before.

The final BIF was controversial among many Senate Republicans, who argued that about half of the bill’s new spending was unrelated to traditional infrastructure. Still, several prominent Republicans supported the bill, including Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

With this support, the BIF easily passed the Senate in August, receiving the votes of all 50 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

But in the House, it faced a more difficult challenge. Because of political divisions between House Democratic moderates and progressives, the BIF languished for months.

Since its inception, the BIF has been extremely popular with many moderates, especially among Democrats. Less popular with moderates, however, was Biden’s larger $3.5 trillion (since reduced to $1.75 trillion) social spending bill. Progressives, distrustful of moderates to support the larger bill, took the BIF hostage, refusing to vote for it until the social spending bill had passed.

Leaders such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Biden sought to negotiate a path forward for months but had little success.

Then on Nov. 5, progressives relented for unknown reasons after another closed-door visit from Biden. Around three months after the Senate passed the bill, the BIF finally made it through the lower chamber.

Moderates such as Manchin were over the moon at the unexpected development.

Manchin said in a statement after the BIF passed: “Our bipartisan bill will help West Virginia, and every other state in the nation, address the infrastructure needs of our nation while creating good-paying jobs and growing the economy. This type of investment hasn’t been made in three decades.”

“I have always said that the best politics is good government, and I’m incredibly proud of my bipartisan colleagues for their tireless efforts to get this across the finish line and deliver on this major investment in the needs of America,” he added.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), a moderate in the Blue Dog Coalition who has also broken with her party in the past, had long fought in the House to pass the BIF and to delink it from her party’s more partisan reconciliation bill.

After the bill passed, Murphy said in a statement: “The bipartisan infrastructure bill will dramatically improve quality of life in Florida by providing residents with better roads and bridges, modern air and seaports, high-speed broadband, and clean water. I’ve been fighting for this historic legislation since it passed the Senate in August and am thrilled we are finally sending it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”

Once signed into law, the bill’s $1.2 trillion in new spending will go into effect.

Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord is a Congressional reporter for The Epoch Times who focuses on the Democrats. He got his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Clemson University and was a scholar in the Lyceum Program.