Senate Republicans granted President Joe Biden a significant victory on Tuesday in helping the bipartisan so-called infrastructure bill pass through the Senate.
The Senate passed H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 69-30, which featured overwhelming Democrat support and strong Republican support.
- Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
- Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
- Mike Crapo (R-ID)
- Roy Blunt (R-MO)
- Richard Burr (R-NC)
- Deb Fischer (R-NE)
- Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- Rob Portman (R-OH)
- Thom Tillis (R-NC)
- Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Jim Risch (R-ID)
- Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
- Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
- Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
- Roger Wicker (R-MS)
- Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
- John Hoeven (R-ND)
- Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Mitt Romney (R-UT)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor this bill, passed under Biden, is the first major infrastructure bill in over a decade.
Schumer said the bipartisan bill serves as the “first track” of the “two-track” strategy on infrastructure.
Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the Senate as the chamber passed the bill.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who is retiring soon, said the Senate made history by passing the bill through the Senate:
Portman, a lead BIF negotiator, says "The Senate's about the make history" ahead of a vote on final passage
"Theres a joke around town that infrastructure week has come & gone so many times that people are a little cynical when we talk about it. Well today is infrastructure day" pic.twitter.com/1XA4vFFskD
— Ali Zaslav (@alizaslav) August 10, 2021
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said before the vote that Republicans are “complicit” by supporting the bipartisan bill, as it would lead to the passage of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who voted against the bill, said, “I just voted NO on the first installment of Joe Biden’s massive left wing agenda – no to gender identity mandates, no to the Green New Deal, no to CRT “racial equity” mandates, no to decimating the energy sector – YES to America”:
I just voted NO on the first installment of Joe Biden’s massive left wing agenda – no to gender identity mandates, no to the Green New Deal, no to CRT “racial equity” mandates, no to decimating the energy sector – YES to America
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 10, 2021
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who voted against the bill, said in a statement after the vote:
The final legislation is loaded with giveaways to big cities and pet projects that have little to do with real infrastructure. Worse, we’re using fuzzy math and IOU’s to hide the real cost of this massive legislation. I can’t vote for a bill that fails to give Alabama a fair slice of the pie while also saddling Alabama taxpayers with even more debt.
The $1.2 trillion, 2,702-page bipartisan infrastructure bill serves as the first part of a two-part approach for the Biden administration. The Biden administration hopes the bill would help facilitate funding of physical infrastructure, while the Democrat $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill would fund social spending programs, which includes the expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to address the “Medicaid gap,” amnesty for illegal aliens, and a civilian climate corps.
While Sens. Portman and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), two GOP lead negotiators of the bipartisan bill, have insisted there is no link between the two infrastructure bills, the passage of the bipartisan bill appears to put the reconciliation bill on a glide path towards passing through Congress.
The passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill also serves as a significant victory for the Senate Republicans that also voted to impeach former President Donald Trump this year. This includes Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Susan Collins (R-ME).
The Senate budget resolution, which serves as the legislative vehicle for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation infrastructure bill, contains instructions for House Budget Committee’s John Yarmuth (D-KY) to make changes to the bipartisan bill as he sees fit, Breitbart News reported.
As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Republicans appeared ready to rush the bill through the Senate to start the budget approval process and move onto their August recess, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) stood against the Senate’s rushed process. Hagerty said the Senate should have time to consider the drastic implications of the several thousand-page bill and open the legislation up for amendments, as the bill was drafted in secret by the bipartisan group of lawmakers, and outside of the normal committee drafting process.
Hagerty refused to consent to the Senate’s advancement of the bill, explaining that the Senate should debate the bill as the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.” He said in a statement Monday night:
The American public deserves to have the Senate—the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body—actually deliberate. Because of my refusal to expedite passage of this bill, we did that and allowed taxpayers to see that this infrastructure package is the first step in the Democrats’ quadruple bank-shot attempt to usher in a radical vision for America, burdening our children and grandchildren with more debt and making American citizens dependent on the government for virtually everything. While I recognize that I delayed the August recess, the stakes are too high here, and we have successfully begun to expose the true and dangerous intentions of my Democrat colleagues.
Because of Hagerty’s efforts, the Senate had slowed down the bill’s passage by five days, giving Americans a greater understanding of the $1.2 trillion bill their lawmakers voted for.
The Senate fight over a $30 billion cryptocurrency regulation serves is emblematic of why Hagerty wanted to slow down Schumer and Senate Republicans’ rushing of the infrastructure bill.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and the Biden White House proposed the $30 billion cryptocurrency regulation as a “pay for” the mammoth legislation. The regulation would impose onerous IRS reporting requirements on the cryptocurrency, including many parts of the industry — such as node operators, validators, and software developers — that either should not or cannot comply with the regulation, lawmakers and industry officials say.
The uproar from the cryptocurrency industry and pro-crypto lawmakers led Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) to propose an amendment that would address the concerns with Portman’s proposal. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) even proposed an amendment that would remove Portman’s regulation.
Lummis and Toomey struck a compromise with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Portman over the regulation; however, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), who will retire next year, refused to allow the amendment to be considered unless they also allowed for increased defense spending in the bill. Shelby’s tactics shuttered the amendment and allowed the original, “disastrous” provision to remain in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Cruz, during the fight to allow the Lummis-Toomey amendment in the bill Monday, lambasted the Senate’s ignorance of cryptocurrencies and that the Senate did not go through the traditional legislative process to consider how the proposal could cripple the industry and send American jobs overseas:
Sen. Ted Cruz on the crypto provisions in the infrastructure bill: "There aren't 5 Senators in this body with any real understanding of how cryptocurrency operates. We have had no hearings on this… And yet this body is prepared to obliterated industry willy nilly." pic.twitter.com/lpG7DVewRM
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 9, 2021
Sen. Ted Cruz on #crypto to the Senate: “We shouldn't regulate something we don't yet understand. We should actually take the time to try to understand it. We should hold some hearings … We shouldn't destroy people's lives and livelihoods from complete ignorance.” pic.twitter.com/pCjmTJ2YLH
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 9, 2021
Lummis, after Shelby blocked the inclusion of the cryptocurrency amendment, pledged to keep fighting to fix the language in the bill. She said, “We will continue to look for ways to fix the digital asset language in this bill. It might not be today, but we won’t give up.”
The House could still insert a Lummis-style amendment when the chamber considers the bill.
We will continue to look for ways to fix the digital asset language in this bill. It might not be today, but we won’t give up.
— Senator Cynthia Lummis (@SenLummis) August 10, 2021
The so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill moves to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has pledged to hold the consideration of that bill until the Senate also advances the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill. The Senate will move forward this week on the budget resolution and the multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill soon after.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.