'a monumental step forward as a nation'
President Biden on Saturday praised the passage of a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, saying he doesn't "think it's an exaggeration to suggest that we took a monumental step forward as a nation."
The bill cleared the Senate in August, and on Friday night, the House passed it as well with a 228-206 vote; 13 Republicans, mostly moderates, joined nearly all the Democrats in voting for it. The measure delivers on one of Biden's campaign promises to upgrade infrastructure in the United States, and will fund improvements to roads, bridges, passenger and freight rail, water systems, and the power grid in all 50 states.
This is a "once-in-a-generation" investment, Biden said, and "for all of you at home who feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that's changing so rapidly — this bill is for you. The vast majority of the thousands of jobs that will be created do not require a college degree. This is a blue collar blueprint to rebuild America, and it's long overdue."
The package provides the most significant investment in American bridges and roads in 70 years, passenger rail in 50 years, and public transit ever, Biden said, and a formal signing ceremony will be held "soon," as he wants to make sure the lawmakers who worked on the legislation can attend. Biden said he's ready to see the progress that will be made, and has "enormous faith in the ingenuity and in the integrity of the American people."