Bipartisan infrastructure bill passes first Senate vote

Washington: The Senate voted to move forward on a bipartisan infrastructure bill after weeks of negotiations on Wednesday, clearing a key procedural hurdle on a bill that includes $550 billion in new spending for infrastructure projects around the country, reported CBS News.

In the 67 to 32 vote, 17 Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined Democrats to advance the bill. The proposal includes some of President Biden’s top domestic priorities and provides billions of dollars in funding for bridges, roads, broadband internet, clean water, public transit and more over the next five years. It encapsulates so-called “hard” infrastructure and is separate from Democratic efforts to pass a $3.5 trillion package for so-called “soft” infrastructure, which includes policies like Medicare expansion and universal child care.

“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver, and do big things,” the president said in a statement before the vote. “As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway, we will once again transform America and propel us into the future.”

The bipartisan bill would be funded by unspent emergency relief funds, corporate user fees and strengthened tax enforcement for crypto currencies, among “other bipartisan measures,” the White House said. The bill would also use roughly $53 billion from states that returned unused enhanced federal unemployment money.

Former President Trump has termed the “so-called bipartisan bill” terrible, and vowed to primary GOP Senators who vote for it.

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