As Infrastructure Bill Passes, A Rocky, Slow Road Awaits


The situation worried Peter A. DeFazio, Oregon Representative, chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Mr. DeFazio has spent months guiding the House infrastructure bill, which includes more important climate policy and more than 1,400 home-district projects known as allocations, from lawmakers on both sides.

“The bill in the Senate was written behind closed doors, and you know, it’s probably not going to be the best product,” Mr. DeFazio said on CNN on Monday. “Most of those who wrote the bill are not seniors on judicial committees who know a lot about transportation, or maybe some of them resist the idea that we have to deal with climate change.”

Pressing whether he would eventually block the passage of the final product, Mr. DeFazio acknowledged that the $3.5 trillion settlement package “could solve many of the problems on this bill”.

“I’ve had this conversation with the White House – it’s possible,” he said. “So, if we see big changes and things mitigated by the compromise bill, okay, then maybe we can move on that.”

White House officials said they were in touch with tensions in the House of Democrats. Mr. Biden has sent cabinet officials to meet with several, including transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is traveling to Oregon to praise Mr. DeFazio’s infrastructure work.

“We are in close contact with his House colleagues, whom the President deeply respects and values ​​as key partners in driving infrastructure progress for generations,” said White House spokesman Andrew Bates. In recent days, the White House has publicly shared polls and articles showing widespread support for the bipartisan plan and highlighting significant funding for climate resilience.

Senate Democrats have vowed to stay united as they go through a marathon of votes to finish both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the budget plan before leaving Washington for the August break.


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