WASHINGTON, 15 November 2021 (AFP) – President Joe Biden on Monday passed a bill creating the biggest US infrastructure plan in more than half a century, in a rare bipartisan achievement at the White House.
The $1.2 trillion project will help repair bridges and roads, replace water pumps, build charging networks for electric vehicles and expand Internet broadband.
“We’ve heard countless speeches,” Biden told hundreds of guests at the White House, including members of the Republican opposition.
“My message to the American people is this: America is moving forward again and its life will change for the better,” he promised.
The bill is proof that Democrats and Republicans can unite to achieve results, the president said. “We believe in each other and we believe in the United States of America.”
Biden struggled for months to get enough votes from his Democratic Party, with internal differences, at the risk of humiliating failure.
“We agreed that this would be a truly bipartisan process,” Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman told the White House meeting.
Although some Republicans have tried, most opposition parties are in no mood to declare a ceasefire. Trump’s supporter Marjorie Taylor Green, a right-wing Republican congresswoman, called 13 of her colleagues who voted with the Democrats “traitors.”
The White House hopes the signing of the law will give Biden new momentum, as it is the largest government investment of its kind since the construction of the national road network in the 1950s.
Meanwhile, a $1.75 trillion package for day care, education and other social spending is pending.
Internal divisions among Democrats are curbing the proposal, which has no Republican support. However, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, believes the bill will be passed “hopefully this week”.