House Votes to Move Ahead on Infrastructure Packages Next Month
Speaker of the House Pelosi (D-CA) and a group of ten moderate Democrats reached a deal August 24 to move forward on two of their key legislative priorities: the Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act (i.e., the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill with $550 billion in new spending) and the $3.5 trillion Budget Resolution.
The vote to move forward, which strictly followed party lines, came after intense negotiations between House Democratic leadership and moderate caucus members on how the House should proceed on the two major infrastructure packages. As a part of the deal, the House is now able to immediately move forward with drafting and voting on a reconciliation package that fleshes out the $3.5 trillion resolution, and the House also sets a date certain – September 27th – by which it will vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill.
If the House passes the Senate’s bipartisan bill as drafted, that bill could quickly be signed into law by President Biden this Fall. As previously reported, the Senate’s bill includes significant direct investment in clean water infrastructure, including increased levels of grant funding, and valuable reauthorizations that tee up core federal water programs for robust investment in future years. NACWA is hopeful this process advances without delay.
NACWA is also engaged with Congress as it begins drafting details on the reconciliation package, which will focus on outstanding priorities of the President’s Build Back Better plan including investing in climate change mitigation and the social safety net. The House and Senate are working quickly to ready their bills by September 15th.
Beyond that drafting deadline, the eventual path forward and prospects for its final passage into law are uncertain. Republicans are anticipated to oppose the reconciliation passage, and with slim majorities in both Chambers, Democrats will face tricky negotiations to keep their party united and maintain enough votes for passage.