As Infrastructure Bill Inches Forth, a Rocky, Slow Path Awaits in the House
The situation angered Rep. Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon, chairman of the transportation and infrastructure committee. Mr DeFazio has spent months leading the House infrastructure bill, which includes more substantial climate policy and more than 1,400 domestic district projects, called assignments, from lawmakers on both sides.
“The Senate bill was drafted behind closed doors, and you know, it probably won’t be the best product,” DeFazio said on CNN Monday. “Most of the people who drafted the bill were not senior officials on jurisdictional committees who know a lot about transportation, or perhaps a number of them are reluctant to think that we should face climate change. “
Pressed on whether it would ultimately block the passage of the final product, DeFazio conceded that the $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation package “could solve many of the problems with this bill.”
“I had this conversation with the White House – it’s possible,” he said. “So if we see some major changes and things that are mitigated by the reconciliation bill, okay, then maybe we could move that.”
White House officials said they had kept in touch with tensions from House Democrats. Mr. Biden dispatched cabinet officials to meet with several of them, including Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, who traveled to Oregon to praise Mr. DeFazio’s work on infrastructure.
“We are in close contact with the Speaker’s colleagues in the House, whom he deeply respects and values as critical partners in making generational infrastructure progress,” said Andrew Bates, spokesperson of the White House. In recent days, the White House has ostensibly shared polls and articles that show broad support for the bipartisan plan and highlight substantial funding for climate resilience.
Senate Democrats, for their part, vowed to stand united as they went through a marathon of votes to complete both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the budget plan before leaving Washington for their August recess. .
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