President Joe Biden on Monday pitched the bipartisan infrastructure deal as one “American people can be proud of,” while cautioning that there was a lot of work ahead to finish the final product.
“This deal is the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure in nearly a century,” Biden wrote in an op-ed on Yahoo News. “Economists of all stripes agree that it would create good jobs and dramatically strengthen our economy in the long run.”
Biden also made clear that he was not satisfied that the bill is missing some “critical initiatives on climate change” — responding to criticism that he’d caved, leaving out ambitious climate goals he promised. But the president said Monday that he intended to go further and pass all of these initiatives in the reconciliation bill, while touting that this initial deal was a “crucial step forward” in clean energy investment.
Biden last week endorsed a bipartisan infrastructure framework clinched by 10 senators, after the members of Congress and administration officials reached a breakthrough on Wednesday. The proposal, led by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), includes nearly $600 billion in new spending on traditional infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.
But as Biden said on Monday, there was still “plenty of work ahead to finish the job.” In recent days, tensions have bubbled after Biden vowed to not sign the bipartisan bill unless Democrats passed his other spending priorities, like child care and clean energy. The president on Saturday walked back on his earlier statement, saying he would support the bipartisan framework on its own merits — bringing Republicans back on board.
“There will be disagreements to resolve and more compromise to be forged,” Biden wrote on Monday. “But this is a deal the American people can be proud of.”