Photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows the US Capitol building in Washington, DC. The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved a long-awaited infrastructure plan after months of heated negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. (Xinhua / Liu Ji)
WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved a long-awaited infrastructure plan after months of intense negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.
In a rare bipartisan conspiracy, a dozen Republicans and Democrats backed the law. The final vote was 69-30, conveniently passing the 60-vote limit required by most laws in the 100-seat upper house.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Senate ahead of the vote that it was “ten years too late” to revive the country’s broken infrastructure, calling it “the strongest financial injection” in infrastructure in decades.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the country’s infrastructure gets C minus marks, 43 percent of public roads are in poor or medium condition and 7.5 percent of the country’s bridges are “structurally deficient”.
The panel noted that the United States has been “under-investing” in its infrastructure for decades. In 2019, the country spent just 2.5 percent of its GDP on infrastructure, up from 4.2 percent in the 1930s, the organization said, adding that the Govt-19 epidemic “made the situation worse”.
In late March, US President Joe Biden unveiled a $ 2 trillion infrastructure project, which was criticized by Republicans, arguing it was not infrastructure-based and costly.
After several months of negotiations, the bilateral senators’ group reached an agreement on a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that would include $ 550 billion in new spending on infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, rails, clean water and sewerage systems. The remaining package includes previously approved costs.
“We are delighted that Republicans and Democrats are working together to promote large public investment, far less than the promise that this legislation will be fully implemented,” said Maya Meginius, chair of the Committee on Responsible Federal Budgeting. The group, in a statement on Tuesday.
The group estimates that it will add about $ 400 billion to the deficit over the next decade.
McKenzie urged the House of Representatives to improve the law, combining current revenues with additional revenues, spending reforms and user fees, to benefit the country’s long-term financial and economic prospects.
Along with the infrastructure plan, Schumer and other Democrats sought to advance a separate $ 3.5 trillion budget using the budget reconciliation process, which required only the passage of a majority law, and the Democrats approved Pyton’s social spending agenda without Republican support.
Following the final vote on the bilateral infrastructure bill, the Senate began debating a $ 3.5 trillion budget, which will focus on day care, education, health and climate policy. Democrats released the contents of the plan Monday.
Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, said the infrastructure program, despite its importance, did not face other challenges facing the country, and Democrats believe “we have a lot more to do.”
The Democratic budget will cut costs for Americans, cut taxes on American households, create millions of jobs while tackling the climate crisis, and “pay the rich and their fair share of companies,” Zoomer said.
However, Republicans repeatedly attacked the massive spending plan, calling it the “socialist fantasy” of the far left, warning that raising taxes would hurt American businesses and families, and that higher prices would drive up inflation and raise already growing debt.
“Senate Democrats are about to take the first step towards another reckless tax and discriminatory spending. This will further increase spending on families.
With the Senate split in half, Democrats need to have moderates who can oppose agenda elements that will allow Vice President Kamala Harris to decide.
In a letter to colleagues on Monday, Schumer told Democrats that the goal was for congressional committees to enact legislation by September 15, before returning home from the August break.
Lok Sabha Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not vote for the bilateral infrastructure plan until the Senate, which has provoked criticism from the Lok Sabha, has passed a large budget package.
White House press secretary Jen Zhaki said the administration was confident and comfortable with Speaker Pelosi’s strategic approach, adding that the president “hopes to turn every piece of legislation into law.”
When asked if massive spending plans would lead to unnecessary inflation, Saki told reporters “We take inflation absolutely seriously.”
“When it comes to the budget reconciliation process, I’m noticing that money has been given to the rich and the very top individuals and corporations, including asking them to pay a little more – it supports a broader, more American public.”
According to a recent estimate by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, both spending plans actually require about $ 1 trillion in direct borrowing and will amount to about $ 2.9 trillion in total borrowing next year.
That spending would raise debt to 115 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 106 percent in 2031, the group noted.
“It is commendable that lawmakers have called for full compensation for new expenses and tax breaks,” the panel said. “But rather than believing the tricks to achieve this, they need to reduce the auction, identify the tax increase and the cost reduction required to cover the full cost of their auction, or both.”
“Internet evangelist. Writer. Hardcore alcoholaholic. Tv lover. Extreme reader. Coffee junkie. Falls down a lot.”