President Joe Biden hailed the Senate’s passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure package as a sign that the Senate can work together on a bipartisan basis.
The Senate passed its bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill with 69 votes on Tuesday, setting it up to be sent to the House of Representatives.
Biden noted that when he first announced his candidacy for president, his desire to work together with Republicans was seen as a relic of the past.
“I know compromise is hard for both sides, but it’s important, it’s necessary for democracy to be able to function,” he said. “Today, we prove that democracy can still work.”
The bill passed on a bipartisan basis, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and others such as Sens Roy Blunt of Missouri, Bill Cassidy of Missouri and Rob Portman of Ohio, joining in.
“I know it wasn’t easy, for the Republicans who supported this bill, you showed a lot of courage,” he said.
Mr Portman, who is retiring at the end of his term, praised the passage of the legislation ahead of the vote.
“Today is infrastructure day,” Sen Rob Portman of Ohio, who is retiring at the end of this term and was one of the key negotiators on the legislation, said.
The bill would invest in public transportation, passenger rail and broadband internet.
“I hope that the House will move swiftly,” Republican Sen Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said ahead of the vote, noting the House can move swiftly when it wants.
Ms Capito’s words came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she would not put the bipartisan bill to a vote before the reconciliation bill, which includes big-ticket spending priorities for Democrats, gets a vote.
“This the end of the beginning,” Sen Tom Carper of Delaware.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill was important but also touted the budget resolution bill that Democrats hope to pass and sidestep a filibuster with 51 votes.
“But our country has other very significant and very important challenges,” Mr Schumer said.
Mr Biden repeated his commitment to the priorities in the $3.5 trillion plan.