Most of these Republicans withheld their votes until the Democrats were able to cast the vast majority of the votes on their own. The energy in the House of Commons was ecstatic when the Democrats realized they would have enough votes to pass the bill. As the clock neared midnight, the lawmakers gathered cheering, high-five and slapping on the floor as they sent the bill to Biden’s desk.
Pelosi first brought up the Infrastructure Act on Friday alongside a vote on the separate bill in order to deliver on a promise to her faction that the two would pass through the chamber at the same time.
But Pelosi was ultimately forced to postpone a vote on the climate and social security bill to get approval for a rule to debate that bill as early as the week of November 15th. It did so after the rebellion of a handful of centrists who insisted on waiting for an independent estimate before taking up the much larger bill, which includes investments in healthcare and childcare.
Attempts to pass the infrastructure bill in September and October failed after Liberals threatened to refuel the infrastructure legislation unless the social spending package was also voted on. This so-called “two-pronged strategy” enraged the moderates in the House of Representatives who wanted the infrastructure package to pass earlier and refused to link the bills.
The infrastructure bill won 19 GOP votes in the Senate, including minority leader Mitch McConnell. However, the numbers fell in the House of Representatives, where some Republicans said they decided to oppose it after the Democrats publicly linked it to the Social Expenditure Act.
The midterm elections next year threaten the haggling of the Democrats within the caucus. They are still pained by Tuesday’s election losses and hope that the passage of the infrastructure bill will give them momentum.
“It’s crucial to be able to say that we kept our promises,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski (DN.J.), who represents a purple district. “And to be able to show that Democrats are capable of governing, even when Republicans are anti-government. That allows us to go into the next year with a clear message. ”
Olivia Beavers and Sarah Ferris contributed to the coverage.