The House Wednesday passed a climate-friendly infrastructure bill with $1.5 trillion for everything from roads to broadband that has little chance of being signed into law as written, but is destined to play a starring role in rhetoric and talking points for both parties in the run-up to the presidential election.
House Republicans have seized relentlessly on the partisan process, saying their views were virtually ignored as the measure was put together. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday morning ridiculed the bill, calling it “nonsense,” “absurd,” “pure fantasy” and vowing that it will die in the Senate. On top of that, the White House has indicated it would veto the bill.
Democrats, for their part, did not try to garner Republican involvement in crafting the bill because they said they were convinced that Republicans would not go along with the emissions reductions measures they wanted, which are sprinkled throughout the bill. For instance, the core of the bill — a $494 billion reauthorization of surface transportation programs like roads and bridges — poured drastically more money than usual into Democratic priorities such as trains, transit and electric vehicle charging infrastructure and de-emphasized building new roads.
The bill, which passed 233-188, is massive in its scope, including money for such varied Democratic priorities as schools, hospitals, housing, broadband, drinking water, storm water, the energy grid and vehicle safety.