The Biden administration is claiming two major victories with the passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill in the Senate as well as a $3.5 trillion budget proposal, plus more of this week’s top stories in Democratic politics.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure deal, with bipartisan support coming from 19 GOP senators as the bill passed 60-30. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) led their respective sides to get the legislation passed, The Hill reported.
“Congress has talked about truly modernizing our nation’s infrastructure for as long as we can remember,” Sinema, Portman, and the eight other senators who were the core negotiators of the legislation said in a joint statement. “The United States Senate delivered so that we can finally give the American people the safe, reliable, and modern infrastructure they deserve.”
The bill’s passage shows that the work of Biden and the centrist-minded group that led the legislation demonstrates their ability to get a bipartisan deal on tough legislation, especially infrastructure, which Congress has long talked about but, until now, were unable to come together under an agreement.
The infrastructure bill now heads to the House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has vowed not to take it up until the Senate passes the second part, a $3.5 trillion spending package which includes top priorities of the Democrats.
Early on Wednesday, the Senate narrowly passed a $3.5 trillion budget proposal that aims to boost family services, health, and environmental programs. The passage advances another top priority for President Joe Biden as he seeks to assist families, create jobs and fight climate change.
The framework passed on a party-line 50-49 vote, NPR reported. The bill will create higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations to pay for much of the massive budget while dispersing the funds over the next decade.
Leaders in the House announced that after summer recess in two weeks, they will return to vote on the fiscal blueprint.
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) announced that he will be signing arrest warrants to be delivered “for service” on Wednesday morning to all the Democratic lawmakers who broke quorum for the third time over voting rights, the Washington Post reported.
A spokesperson said warrants were signed for 52 Democrats who failed to return during the fourth day of the House’s second special session, leaving the chamber eight members short of a quorum.
The exact number of House Democrats that have returned to Texas since the 57 fled to Washington in mid-July is unclear, after an exodus blocked passage of new voting restrictions.
Following the resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday, and fourteen days, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will take over the position, becoming the first female to govern the state of New York.
Hochul, 62, will finish out Cuomo’s term after he steps down in 14 days. Hochul graduated from Syracuse University and received a law degree at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., NBC reported.