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Infrastructure funding to become law, but what about the separate spending bill?

Philadelphia
Posted at 3:00 AM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 07:17:09-05

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden set to hold a signing ceremony at the White House Monday for his bipartisan infrastructure bill, which 19 Republican senators and 13 Republican members of the House voted for along with most Democrats.

The legislation provides $550 billion in new funding to fix roads and bridges nationwide, improve trains and public transit, upgrade internet connectivity and build more electric car charging stations.

Most projects will take years to fund and complete.

But that's just part one of Biden's agenda.

WHAT ABOUT PART TWO?

Part two is known as the "Build Back Better" plan.

Democrats want that bill to fundamentally transform everything from child care to health care.

As it is written now, it would limit child care costs to 7% of most people's incomes while creating four weeks of paid family leave for a family to care for a child when they are born.

It would cap some drug prices for older Americans while funding new climate change programs.

The cost right now for those policies is around $1.75 trillion, and it is funded through new tax hikes on multi-millionaires and businesses.

While some Republicans voted for the infrastructure bill, no Republican is backing the Build Back Better Act. For it to become law, every Democrat in the Senate must vote for it along with nearly every Democrat in the House of Representatives.

COULD IT BECOME LAW SOON?

At this point, a vote in the Senate appears weeks away at best, but Democratic leaders are saying a vote in the House could happen this week. However, new obstacles are emerging.

The timing of any vote in the House may be contingent upon the Congressional Budget Office and their "CBO score."

The score is a respected, non-partisan analysis by economists detailing the actual cost of any legislation. In short, they are fact-checking Biden's math.

What the CBO report reveals could determine the bill's fate.

Some moderate Democrats have said they won't vote for it until they see the numbers. If the report differs from what the White House has been saying, the votes may not be there.

The Congressional Budget Office says they are reviewing the bill, but it is "complicated" to go through over 2,000 pages of legislation.

The Congressional Budget Office does not have a timeline of when the report will be done.