Biden is confident House will pass $1T infrastructure bill, $3.5T budget

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden celebrated the Senate passed his $3.5 trillion budget plan and his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, and he is confident the House will do the same, as he continues to promote his agenda.

On Wednesday, Biden delivered a speech and held a virtual roundtable on his Build Back Better agenda and declared it is a “long-term investment” that is fiscally responsible.

“If your primary concern right now is the cost of living, you should support this plan, not oppose it,” Biden said.

Biden also said the plans will lower costs for working families, generate economic growth and create jobs. The bill also includes free universal Pre-K education, two tuition-free years of community college, funding to improve healthcare, and a plan to combat climate change.

President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting from the South Court Auditorium at the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, to discuss the importance of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“The folks on the hill realize that Climate change was the challenge of our time and they are begging to invest in it and they are going to do more,” said Gina McCarthy, an environmental health and air quality expert who is serving as the first White House national climate advisor.

McCarthy said addressing climate change is especially important for South Florida residents. The area is vulnerable to storm damage, coastal flooding, and unpleasant hot days. Scientists believe warmer temperatures also lengthen mosquito season, increase algal blooms, and have an adverse impact on corals.

“We are seeing the constant flooding and pumping that has to happen,” McCarthy said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., meets with reporters after a marathon "vote-a-rama" to advance President Joe Biden's federal priorities, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. The Democratic leader discussed the $3.5 trillion framework for bolstering family services, health, and environment programs, the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, and the importance of voting rights. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

After the Senate passed the $3.5 trillion budget plan, Sen. Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, described Wednesday “as one of the most significant legislative days that we’ve had in a long time.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, strongly disagreed. He referred to the budget plan as a “reckless spending spree.” Sen. Marco Rubio criticized the Republicans who voted to approve the infrastructure bill.

In what legislators have referred to as a “two-track legislative strategy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was not going to take up the infrastructure bill without the companion budget bill. Nine Democratic lawmakers sent Pelosi a letter saying the budget bill equates to big spending amid rising debt.

Despite the division, Schumer said there is a “decent chance” the House will pass both bills.

“We have a diverse caucus, from Bernie Sanders, we have Joe Manchin, and everybody in between,” Schumer said. “There are some in my caucus who might believe it’s too much. There are some in my caucus we believe it’s too little. We are going to all come together to get something done.”

The Senate’s recess began on Wednesday. The House will return to consider both bills on Aug. 23.

Virtual roundtable

(Starts late at 1:01:18)

Biden’s speech

About the Authors:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News. He has more than a decade of reporting experience nationwide.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.