After months of debate and discussion, the U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to move forward with negotiations on a bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes $550 billion in new spending for roads, bridges, and broadband among other items.
A total of 17 Senate Republicans voted with 50 members from the Democrat caucus to advance the legislation, passing 67-32. The text of the bill has not yet been released, but there will be opportunities to amend the package still in the Senate and in the House.
According to a fact sheet from the White House, the agreement includes $110 billion for roads and bridges, $73 billion for power grid spending, $66 billion for railways, $65 billion to expand broadband access, $55 billion for clean drinking water, $50 billion for environmental resiliency, $39 billion for public transit and $25 billion for airports.
“We are encouraged by this bipartisan infrastructure package that would bring some much-needed transportation and broadband investment into our state,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts. “As we continue to monitor the bill’s language and progress, we are grateful for those who reached across the aisle in order to move this important discussion forward, especially Leader McConnell.”
“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver, and do big things,” President Joe Biden said in a statement before the vote. “As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway, we will once again transform America and propel us into the future.”
Additional procedural votes and debate on the bill are expected, possibly over the weekend or in the weeks to come.