President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators reached a deal at the White House Thursday concerning a massive infrastructure bill that would improve the nation’s roads, bridges and broadband.
A group of senators met with Mr. Biden at the White House Thursday to discuss the proposed infrastructure bill. The meeting came after weeks of deliberations over how to pay for what would be the largest infrastructure package approved by Congress.
The proposed $1.2 trillion bi-partisan infrastructure plan would allocate funds over eight years and included $579 billion in new spending. Within the plan, $312 billion would be allocated for modernizing and improving transportation and $266 billion would be allocated for additional updates to broadband, power, water and environmental remediation.
After Thursday’s meeting, President Biden triumphantly told reporters outside the West Wing that a deal had been reached and that the group had achieved “serious compromise on both sides.” Mr. Biden, however, told lawmakers that he would only sign the bill if it included measures for “human infrastructure” programs like childcare and tax credits for families, which are a broader part of the president’s sweeping infrastructure goals.
The bill already has support from 21 senators — 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats — but will likely need the support of Democratic leaders to garner the 60 votes needed to rise above a filibuster and pass in the Senate.
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, praised the Biden administration’s support of the infrastructure plan following Thursday’s meeting.
“Gridlock has kept us from modernizing our roads, bridges, trains, buses, and water pipes for long enough,” Rep. Carbajal said in a statement. “This deal is proof that we can get things done if we roll up our sleeves and work together. Glad President Biden achieved this bipartisan deal, which has eluded previous administrations.”
Rep. Carbajal sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which passed the Invest in America Act earlier this month to fund improvements to transportation. Through the plan, the congressman secured $20 million for Central Coast projects that will ease traffic on Highway 101 and create new bike paths. With this bill passed, Rep. Carbajal is hopeful Congress will take the next step and pass the proposed bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“I will keep fighting to make sure we invest in the things that matter, including funding to tackle the climate crisis and measures to create good-paying jobs,” Rep. Carbajal said in a statement.
“Now let’s get to work on another comprehensive plan to meet the needs of Central Coast families,” he said, referring to the infrastructure bill.