President Biden’s Bill Passes Congress


Lorenzo Arce

Biden’s Infrastructure bill may be followed with a scaled-down version of his “Build Back Better” plan.

On Nov 5, Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan finally passed after months of deliberation in congress with bipartisan support. According to The Wall Street Journal, the bill passed 228-206, with the approval of 13 Republicans.  Six progressive Democratic members also apposed the bill.

What’s in the Bill? 

    The $1.2 trillion in government aid will modernize the country’s overall infrastructure, including public transportation, bridges, roads, airports, and rail systems. The plan will also devote over $200 billion towards clean drinking water, power grid infrastructure, water storage in the west, and pollution removal. Also of note is the $17 billion going towards port infrastructure. The nation’s seaports have been backed up due to labor shortages caused by the pandemic.

    At Saturday morning’s press conference, the light-hearted Biden said, “Finally, infrastructure week…I’m so happy to say that: infrastructure week.”

“The Squad”

    The six Democrats who opposed Biden’s bill were members of the progressive sub-group known as “The Squad.” Including Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna S. Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. They argued the bill was not large enough to compensate for the environmental toll of construction that the project will undertake. They are also concerned the passage of this bill will hinder any future hopes of a bigger bill since the moderates are content with this one. Initially, most progressives sided with “The Squad” and their grievances, but eventually decided to support the bill. 

“Build Back Better”

    Biden also hopes to pass a scaled-down version of his “Build Back Better” plan. The $1.75 billion plan would address social issues and climate reform of the United States. These include universal pre-K, affordable healthcare, and lowered prescription drug cost. Biden’s  initial $3.5 trillion plan would have addressed free community college for two years, but progressive and conservative senators opposed the plan. The climate change funding clause was also significantly scaled back. Most of the opposition came from moderate Democrats Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.