Saturday, January 22

Biden signs $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill

(CNN) — US President Joe Biden signed the US $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package Monday afternoon, seeking a boost for his presidency as he commemorates a major legislative victory with all the pomp on the South Lawn. of the White House.

Biden celebrates

Biden hailed the huge bipartisan infrastructure bill, saying it “is proof” that both sides “can deliver real results for real people.”

“My fellow countrymen, today I want you to know that we hear you and we see you,” Biden said at a signing ceremony at the White House. “The bill that I am about to enact is proof that despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together and produce results. We can do this. We can deliver real results for real people.”

“And we are taking a monumental step to rebuild ourselves better as a nation,” he said.

Biden thanked Vice President Kamala Harris, her Cabinet members, and Congress for helping pass the bill.

“Here in Washington, we have heard countless speeches and promises. But today, we are finally getting there. So my message to the American people is this: America is moving again. And your life is going to change for the better,” he said.

Biden used a portion of his comments to speak directly to the American people, saying that this day “matters to you too.”

“I know you are tired of the squabbles in Washington. Frustrated by the negativity and you just want us to use and focus on your needs, your concerns and the conversations that take place at your kitchen table,” he said.

The details of the law

The law will provide $ 550 billion for new federal infrastructure investments over five years. This includes money for roads, bridges, public transportation, the railroad, airports, ports, and waterways.

The package includes an investment of US $ 65,000 million to improve the country’s broadband infrastructure and invests tens of billions of dollars in improving the electricity grid and water systems.

Another US $ 7.5 billion would be used to build a national network of electric vehicle chargers, according to the text of the bill.

The bill, approved in August by the Senate with 69 votes in favor and 30 against, finally received approval from the House of Representatives on November 5, where it had the support of 13 Republican lawmakers.

Congress reconvenes in Washington this Monday after a week of recess to address a number of key issues before the holidays, such as the approval of Biden’s broader agenda on the economy and climate, the financing of the government before the deadline. December 3 and the increase in the debt limit.

The appeal of investing in sustainable infrastructure 0:49

Biden’s approval falls

The ceremony comes as Biden faces falling polling numbers heading into the critical midterm elections that take place next year, and following the landslide defeat of the Democrats in the Virginia gubernatorial race. earlier this month. Discontent over the pandemic and the resulting economic woes – including record inflation – are contributing to Biden’s decline in popularity. A new poll of ABC-The Washington Post released at the weekend puts the president’s approval rating at 41% and disapproval at 53%.

The signing ceremony will be an opportunity for an unusual meeting between representatives of both parties. Republican and Democratic state and local officials are expected to participate as Biden tries to show off his ability to reach agreement on an issue that has complicated multiple presidencies.

Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Rob Portman and Bill Cassidy will be among the attendees. Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a linchpin in the ongoing negotiations over Biden’s “Build Back Better” program, will also be in attendance. Also attending, according to a White House adviser, Republican Representatives Don Young, from Alaska, and Tom Reed, from New York.

Poll: 48% approve of Biden’s management as president 1:23

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted in favor of the bill, said last week that he does not plan to attend.

“A day of celebration for mayors”

State and local officials from both parties will attend the event, said Casa Blancia aide, including Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, with whom Biden highlighted the package’s provisions last week in Baltimore, Democratic Governors Kate Brown of Oregon. and John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, as well as mayors of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Columbia, South Carolina, Long Beach, California, and Chicago, Illinois.

Key representatives from the business world will also participate in the celebration, such as the leaders of United Airlines, Ford, the Chamber of Commerce and other groups. And unions, including leaders from the IBEW, Teamsters and United Auto Workers, will be in attendance.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt told CNN that the bill will allow funding for his city’s roads and bridges.

“This is a day of celebration for mayors. We have fought for almost a decade to get this huge investment in our country’s infrastructure. So I am very pleased that Congress and the White House have been able to work together to finally get it done. This means a lot for roads and bridges, water infrastructure, broadband, passenger rail, transit, all the things that are basic infrastructure that cities like mine really need help with, “Holt said in CNN’s “New Day” show.

The details of the US infrastructure plan 0:59

When will the effects of the infrastructure package to be signed by Biden be seen?

Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who has been named a senior adviser and will oversee the coordination of the bill’s implementation on behalf of the White House, will also be in attendance.

Landrieu, according to the White House, will “oversee the most significant and comprehensive investments in America’s infrastructure in generations, works that independent experts say will create millions of well-paying, unionized jobs while boosting our economic competitiveness in the world, they will strengthen our supply chains and act against inflation in the long term. “

Senior administration officials, as well as the president, have said that it will take some time for Americans to see and feel the results of Biden’s infrastructure bill investments.

“They will see the effects of the bill – this bill – probably starting in the next two or three months,” Biden told reporters after the bill was passed, adding that “it is going to have a profound impact on time”.

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