House Passes Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure (“BIF”) - Delays Vote on Build Back Better Act Until Thanksgiving
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President Joe Biden had a victory when the House passed the $1 trillion-plus bipartisan infrastructure bill.

After a confusing, 16-hour scramble to secure the necessary votes, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Frameworl (“BIF”) passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 228-206 with 13 Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with the Democrats. Six Democrats voted no: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) — all members of The Squad.

The BIF, which had passed the Senate by a vote of 60-30 The BIF passed the Senate, itself a $550 billion infrastructure plan, on Aug. 10 on a bipartisan 69 to 30 vote. Nineteen Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined with all 50 senators who caucus with Democrats to support the bill.some time ago, will fund a landmark investment in the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, railroads and other aging infrastructure. It has a significant energy title supported by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Joe Manchin (D-WV). It also includes tens of billions of dollars to expand broadband coverage, an issue that became even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A signing ceremony is expected next week. 

The vote on the Build Back Better Act (the “Triple B”) will be delayed until the measure is officially scored by the Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (“JCT”), which is likely to be the week of Thanksgiving. Democratic moderates forced the leadership to postpone the final vote for weeks so the caucus could review the full budgetary analysis of the legislation. The White House, Pelosi, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) agreed that moderates would vote for the Triple-B if the CBO score mirrors the administration’s budgetary analysis.

Below are the statements made by the moderates and the progressives, which were approved by the leadership and the White House:

Moderates Response:

“We commit to voting for the Build Back Better Act, in its current form other than technical changes, as expeditiously as we receive fiscal information from the Congressional Budget Office – but in no event later than the week of November 15th – consistent with the toplines for revenues and investments in the “White House Preliminary Budgetary Estimate of the Build Back Better Act” document presented to the Democratic Caucus on November 4, 2021 by the White House. Further, in the event the fiscal information received from the Congressional Budget Office is inconsistent with the “White House Preliminary Budgetary Estimate of the Build Back Better Act” document, we remain committed to working to resolve any discrepancies in order to pass the Build Back Better legislation.”

Progressives’ Response:

“Tonight, members of the Progressive Caucus and our colleagues in the Democratic Caucus reached an agreement to advance both pieces of President Biden’s legislative agenda. Our colleagues have committed to voting for the transformative Build Back Better Act, as currently written, no later than the week of November 15. All of our colleagues have also committed to voting tonight on the rule to move the Build Back Better Act forward to codify this promise. The President has affirmed these members gave him the same commitment.”

It remains to be seen what will transpire if the CBO score does not meet the moderates’ requirements. But even if the Triple B bill does pass the House, it has to pass the Senate, where the measure is likely to be rewritten, and then returned to the House for another vote of approval. 

Clearly, the President’s Build Back Better bill has a long way to go before hitting the President’s desk for signature.

Michael Best Strategies will keep you informed as this tumultuous process unfolds.

Stay tuned!

Below are the links to all of the most up-to-date documents for both the BBBA and the BIF.

Build Back Better Act (BBBA)

Build Back Better Act Committee Fact Sheets

Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (BIF)