President Biden on June 26 pledged his support for a separate voting track in Congress for legislation containing a $1.2 trillion compromise infrastructure agreement that the White House reached last week with a bipartisan group of senators.
Tech-focused portions of the infrastructure agreement – which has yet to be written up in legislative form – include $73 billion for improved power infrastructure, $65 billion for expanded broadband services, and $47 billion to improve the resiliency of infrastructure to climate and cyber threats.
In a statement released by the White House over the weekend, President Biden sought to clarify previous statements indicating that he wanted the infrastructure legislation to be considered alongside a separate bill that would contain his American Families Plan. In his latest statement, the president said he expects Congress to consider the infrastructure bill through the regular legislative process, and the American Families Plan through the reconciliation process – which only requires majority approval in the Senate rather than the 60-vote margin that could be expected for the infrastructure bill.
“I have been clear from the start that it was my hope that the infrastructure plan could be one that Democrats and Republicans would work on together, while I would seek to pass my Families Plan and other provisions through the process known as reconciliation,” the president said while acknowledging that he created confusion with other statements indicating he would refuse the sign an infrastructure bill unless it was accompanied by approved legislation for the American Families Plan.
“So to be clear: our bipartisan agreement does not preclude Republicans from attempting to defeat my Families Plan; likewise, they should have no objections to my devoted efforts to pass that Families Plan and other proposals in tandem,” President Biden said.
“The bottom line is this: I gave my word to support the Infrastructure Plan, and that’s what I intend to do,” he said. “I intend to pursue the passage of that plan, which Democrats and Republicans agreed to on Thursday, with vigor. It would be good for the economy, good for our country, good for our people. I fully stand behind it without reservation or hesitation.”