The Senate passed Joe Biden’s big, signature $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill, and it is being hailed as a bipartisan effort. Of the 69 yes votes, 19 came from Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
For months members of both parties worked hard negotiating this bill, with the hopes it would show that the two sides who are so deeply divided can find a way to work together when needed.
Here’s what Oregon Republican Senator Rob Portman, the lead negotiator for the Republicans in the Senate had to say after the vote.
“What we’re doing here today also demonstrates to the American people that we can get our act together on a bipartisan basis and get something done,” Portman said. “We can do big things on a bipartisan basis if we put our minds to it.”
A bill of this size and scope always has hidden surprises in it, and this one is certainly no exception.
$125 million is earmarked toward exploring the possibility of a federal vehicle miles traveled tax. What that means is it gives Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg the power to hand out grants to local and regional entities to implement the VMT tax.
Also buried inside the infrastructure bill is the following:
$39 billion for public transit.
$25 billion to repair major U.S. airports.
$7.5 billion for a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.
$73 billion to modernize the energy grid in the U.S.
Next up, the bill goes to the House for their vote.