Senate Passes Bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill and Budget Reconciliation Plan

  • On August 18, 2021

On August 10, by a vote of 69-30, the Senate voted to pass a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The legislation, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, came to fruition after months of negotiations. The legislation, which includes the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021, would invest record amounts of funding in our nation’s highways and bridges, address climate change by investing in projects to reduce carbon emissions, and expand surface transportation for rural and tribal communities, among other key priorities for the Senate outlined here. Following passage, the proposed legislation was sent to the House of Representatives, where further adjustments and negotiations are expected to be made. Should the bill pass, the House and Senate will consolidate their respective versions and send a final bill to President Biden for signature.

The infrastructure package is one of just two large bills under consideration in the Senate. On August 11, after more than 14 hours of votes on amendments, the Senate passed a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan by a vote of 50-49. The measure directs funding to focus on climate initiatives, paid leave, childcare, education and health care. Additionally, the bill provides funding for agricultural climate research and research infrastructure, rural development, child nutrition and agriculture conservation. The House is expected to cut its August recess short and return to Washington to vote on the resolution. Individual Committees will now be responsible for crafting legislation that meets the spending or deficit reduction instructions included in the Senate bill. The Agriculture Committee was authorized to increase the deficit by no more than $135 billion.