Legislative crunch-time for the Biden administration’s two infrastructure funding bills began in earnest on Monday. Here are three tracks to watch that impact the legislation, which proposes billions of dollars of funding for Federal IT, cybersecurity, and broadband initiatives.
Most immediately, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would begin floor debate September 27 on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill (BIF) that has already garnered significant bipartisan support in the Senate. Rep. Pelosi said the bill is set for a final House vote on September 30.
Over the weekend, the House Budget Committee completed its markup of the separate $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill – dubbed the Build Back Better Act. A precise timeline for House consideration of that measure is less defined, and Speaker Pelosi said on September 26 that House and Senate negotiators were working with the White House on further changes to the legislation.
Hanging over both of those pieces of legislation is a proposed continuing resolution (CR) that would fund Federal government operations beyond September 30, marking the end of the 2021 fiscal year. Speaker Pelosi said the House is awaiting Senate action on the proposed CR legislation.
In a letter to House Democrats on September 25, Speaker Pelosi said that “the next few days will be a time of intensity.”
Asked by reporters today to describe any progress being made on the $3.5 trillion infrastructure legislation, President Biden responded, “I’m a born optimist.”
“I think things are going to go well. I think we’re going to get it done,” said President Biden, who also indicated he was having meetings on the legislation later Monday and on Tuesday.
President Biden also cautioned that work on the larger infrastructure bill may not be completed by the end of this week, although he hoped it would. “We’ve got three things to do: the debt ceiling, the continuing resolution, and the two pieces of legislation. If we do that, the country is going to be in great shape,” he said.