First modification: 06/25/2021 – 01:44
US President Joe Biden announced on Thursday a bipartisan agreement with members of the Senate to renovate the nation’s roads, bridges and highways and help stimulate the economy. The alliance marks a breakthrough in one of its key national policy goals.
In a surprise announcement from the White House, US President Joe Biden confirmed an infrastructure plan for 1.2 trillion dollars with which he assures will create “millions of jobs” and is “a great step” in the pulse against China.
“We have a deal,” Biden said surrounded by Democratic and Republican senators who drafted the infrastructure proposal that followed months of negotiations with lawmakers.
It is an eight-year program that includes 559,000 million in new expenses; 109,000 million for highways, bridges and major projects; 73,000 million for electrical infrastructure; 66,000 million for passenger and cargo transport; 65,000 million for broadband internet access; 49,000 million for public transport and 25,000 million for airports, according to a statement from the White House.
We’ve struck a deal. A group of senators – five Democrats and five Republicans – has come together and forged an infrastructure agreement that will create millions of American jobs.
– President Biden (@POTUS) June 24, 2021
The investments would be paid for through more than a dozen funding mechanisms, including $ 100 billion in tax revenue, estimated from increased enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service. Also with aid money to face the Covid-19 pandemic that was not used and unemployment insurance funds returned by the states to the Federal Government.
“This deal means millions of well-paying jobs and fewer felt burdens at the table … But it also tells ourselves, and the world, that American democracy can deliver, and so it represents an important step forward for our country, “said the president.
However, the bill does not contain other key priorities for Biden and progressive Democrats, such as new spending on home health care and child care, which the president described as “human infrastructure.” Those priorities would be addressed separately in a congressional budget process known as reconciliation.
The plan still needs to be voted on in Congress
In unusual partisan endorsement, the senators who accompanied Biden emphasized that the agreement will create jobs for the economy, something that clearly transcended the interests of both parties and creates a precedent for the agreement.
“We are going to continue working together, we are not finished (…) But the United States works, the Senate works,” said Republican Senator Mitt Romney.
However, its entry into force still depends on the votes in Congress. The leader of the Democratic majority in the Upper House, Chuck Schumer, assured that he supports the scheme of the agreement, but that he is still waiting to see the details of it.
“All parties understand that we will not be able to pass it unless we have enough votes to endorse it in both (houses),” said Schumer, adding that the Senate would put it to a vote next month.
He also noted that the bill focused on physical infrastructure would not get the necessary votes to pass it without an accompanying package that addresses social issues, including home health care.
For her part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, warned on Thursday that this plan must be combined with the most important objectives of the president and that of the Lower House. Therefore, he said he will only vote on the bill after the Senate has also endorsed the additional spending package that would be ratified through a process called “reconciliation.”
President Biden’s party has a narrow majority in the Senate, so it needs at least ten Republican senators to back them to move this legislation through, something that this time seems feasible due to the broad advance support, as announced by the president. this Thursday.
With Reuters, AP and EFE