Democrats hail infrastructure vote but regret taking so long

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Democrats hail infrastructure vote but regret taking so long

Democrats acknowledged on Sunday that last week’s elections lit a fire under them and sparked the vote in the House approving President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan but admitted they blew their chances to help the party’s candidates by passing it sooner.

Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia — a state President Biden won a year ago by 10 percentage points — and Gov. Phil Murphy won a squeaker over Jack Ciattarelli in New Jersey, where the president won by 16 points in 2020. 

“I think that the Democrats in the House got this message very loud and clear -​- pass the bill, right? And pass the second part too, because these contain things that everyday people care about​,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”​

​”​The governor of Michigan today, Gretchen Whitmer, ran on the phrase, ‘fix the damn roads.’ And that’s what this bill does. It fixes the damn roads. It fixes your bridges. It gets broadband to real people. It fixes your homes, so that they’re not leaking energy​,” Granholm said. ​

Gov. Larry Hogan said that the passage of the bill was a big win for Biden and would have meant more if certain Democrats had voted along the party line.
Gov. Larry Hogan said that the passage of the bill was a big win for Biden and would have meant more if certain Democrats had voted along the party line.
CNN

The House voted 228-206 to pass the infrastructure bill late Friday night, 87 days after it cleared the Senate in August. 

Thirteen GOP lawmakers in the House joined with 215 Democrats to vote for it, but five members of the “Squad,” including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, bucked party leadership and opposed it.

They were demanding that the Senate pass Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better social spending plan that contains funds for education, child care and healthcare, before the House takes up the bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that Democrats knew that they had to pass this bill as it contained elements that would affect everyday people.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that Democrats knew that they had to pass this bill as it contained elements that would affect everyday people.
CNN

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain echoed Granholm’s sentiments.

“I do think the voters sent a message on Tuesday. They wanted to see more action in Washington. They wanted to see things move more quickly, and three days later, Congress responded, passing the president’s infrastructure bill​,” Klain said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”​

He said the vote was a culmination of months of work by the administration and included negotiating with Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and trying to appeal to a “broad coalition in the House.”

​”​We finally did it on Friday. That’s the bottom line for us, I think​,” he said. ​​

In Virginia, voters not only put a Republican in the governor’s mansion but they also elected GOP candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who supported the infrastructure bill, said ​its passage was a win for Biden, but it could have meant more if not for progressive Democrats. 

“​I think it could have been a much bigger win. I mean, he nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It should have been an overwhelming win back in August. And I think he should not have let it get sidetracked by the progressives in the House. I think that was bad for Joe Bide​n,” Hogan said on CNN.​

“​I think that was reflected in the election results, because I think they misread the mandate. Joe Biden won a very narrow election by winning swing voters. And they’re not where the Progressive Caucus is, I can assure you. And the vast majority of Americans are not for the second bill​,” he said. ​​

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) agreed with Hogan, saying “things might have been different” had Democrats acted sooner on infrastructure.​

“If we could have had this bipartisan infrastructure bill — Larry Hogan is right. The House could have passed it in August. We could have spent the last three months going around Virginia talking about clean water systems, improving our transportation system, making sure our airports didn’t appear to be third world, making sure every home in Virginia had high-speed broadband connectivity,” Warner said on CNN.

“So, yes, I think, if we could have been talking about that win and showing the kind of job creation that actually has been taking place, things might have been different,” he continued.

Sen. Mark Warner said that while the passage of the bill is a win, he said that Virigina's governor's race might have been different if it was passed sooner/
Sen. Mark Warner said that while the passage of the bill is a win, he said that Virigina’s governor’s race might have been different if it was passed sooner/
CNN

Warner said passing the legislation would have “absolutely” resulted in a win for McAuliffe.

“I mean, the voters of Virginia and the voters of America gave us the presidency, the Senate and the House. They expected us to produce. They have been hearing about this bipartisan infrastructure bill for months,” he said.

Murphy, appearing on “Meet the Press,” said the vote shows Americans haven’t recovered from the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s quite clear there’s a lot of hurt out there. And there are a lot of kitchen tables that we need to connect more deeply with and help folks get through this period, whether they lost a loved one, a job, a small business, they’re frustrated by the ongoing pandemic or economic recovery, whatever it may be,” he said. 

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