Biden Plans To Propose Massive $3 Trillion Infrastructure Bill
President Joe Biden argued on the campaign trail and during his time representing Delaware that America’s infrastructure needs modernization. Now in the White House, Biden and his administration are eyeing a massive infrastructure upgrade plan, which would also affect access to child care and rising drug costs.
The bill in development would round out at approximately $3 trillion split between two bills. The first would focus on infrastructure, manufacturing, climate change measures and expanding access to broadband and 5G Internet. The other bill would create a universal free pre-K program, two-years of free community college, child tax credits and health care subsidies.
“President Biden and his team are considering a range of potential options for how to invest in working families and reform our tax code so it rewards work, not wealth,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday. “Those conversations are ongoing, so any speculation about future economic proposals is premature and not a reflection of the White House’s thinking.”
With the Biden proposal’s high price tag, it is unlikely that it could gain Republican support of any kind. If Democrats hope to pass a progressive, sweeping plan like Biden is proposing, they only have two routes to get it through the Senate. Biden’s bills could pass through budget reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority of 50 senators to vote in favor. That, however, means that Democrats are at the mercy of moderates like Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), who have been known to lean conservative. Manchin refused to vote for the American Rescue Plan unless Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) shortened unemployment extensions.
Another route Democrats could take is filibuster reform. Biden and even senators like Manchin have voiced support for reforming the filibuster. While bills need only a simple majority of 51 votes to become law, the current Senate filibuster rule means that any one senator can initiate a silent filibuster. A silent filibuster does not need to be actively debated on the floor and can technically go infinitely long. The only way to end a silent filibuster is with 60 votes, essentially requiring the Senate to get 60 votes to pass legislation.