Bipartisan infrastructure bill: 19 GOP senators vote for $1T legislation
The Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill Tuesday with 19 Republican votes, notching a victory for the moderates who crafted the legislation aimed at solidifying the United States‘ roads, bridges, power grid, broadband, water pipes and more.
„Infrastructure is exactly the kind of subject that Congress should be able to address across the aisle. Roads, bridges, waterways, airports — these things are not luxuries for the greatest nation in world history,“ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week. He was the most high-profile GOP vote for the bill.
„Are there some things that Democrats like? For sure,“ Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said on „Sunday Morning Futures.“ He also voted for the bill.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters as lawmakers work to advance the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
„Are there some things missing that we would love? Of course there are,“ Cramer continued. „But this is a 50-50 Senate. Democrats have a majority in the House and the White House. So you’re going to have to take some of those things to get all of the other really good things.“
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, meanwhile surprised by voting for the bill after voting against ending debate on it.
Here are all of the GOP senators who voted for the infrastructure bill:
Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Richard Burr, R-N.C.
Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
Bill Cassidy, R-La.
Susan Collins, R-Maine
Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
Mike Crapo, R-Idaho
Deb Fischer, R-Neb.
Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
Rob Portman, R-Ohio
Jim Risch, R-Idaho
Mitt Romney, R-Utah
Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska
Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa
Republicans who oppose the bill, however, say much of the bill is not actually about infrastructure, and decry the fact that it is not fully paid for,
„[W]e have a package with some infrastructure—good for our economy—riddled with big government and massive deficit spending—over a quarter of a trillion dollars in the hole,“ Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., said. He’s been the most vocal opponent of the bill, single-handedly delaying proceedings by days.
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., who has been accompanying his wife for cancer treatments initially supported the bill but Tuesday said he opposes its final form due to „progressive mandates and federal funding clawbacks that I believe go too far.“
And former President Donald Trump has vocally opposed the deal for weeks.
„Nobody will ever understand why Mitch McConnell allowed this non-infrastructure bill to be passed,“ Trump said Thursday. „He has given up all of his leverage for the big whopper of a bill that will follow. I have quietly said for years that Mitch McConnell is the most overrated man in politics—now I don’t have to be quiet anymore.“
The bill will now head to the House of Representatives where it faces an uncertain path forward.
Moderate House Democrats are asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to immediately hold a vote on the legislation, without connecting it to any other bill. But Pelosi and progressive Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., say they will refuse to vote on the infrastructure bill until the Senate passes Democrats‘ massive $3.5 trillion spending package via budget reconciliation.
It’s not clear that Democrats have the votes to get that legislation through the 50-50 Senate. And even if it does Democrats‘ margin in the House is very thin as well – moderates have already been expressing concerns about the plan’s price tag.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on „Fox News Sunday“ that he hopes the House will consider the infrastructure bill on its own merits. But it is unclear how far the Biden administration is willing to go to pressure Pelosi and House progressives to shepherd the bipartisan bill to the president’s desk.
Fox News‘ Chad Pergram and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.