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.
“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.
The Senate passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is the next critical step toward tackling the climate crisis and building back better. The Deal makes historic investments in remediating legacy pollution, climate resilience, water infrastructure & clean power & vehicles 1/— Gina McCarthy (@ginamccarthy46) August 10, 2021
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.
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.
Republicans who helped pass the so called “infrastructure” bill yesterday shouldn’t go around expressing outrage about this monstrosity today— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 11, 2021
You knew passing the first bill paved the way for this one, and you decided to vote for it anyways https://t.co/C7B3zgVpby
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.
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