The House approved a $1 trillion package of road and other infrastructure projects after Democrats resolved a months-long standoff between progressives and moderates, notching a victory that President Joe Biden and his party had become increasingly anxious to claim.
The House passed the measure 228-206 late Friday, prompting prolonged cheers from the relieved Democratic side of the chamber. Thirteen Republicans, mostly moderates, supported the legislation while six of Democrats’ farthest left members — including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri — opposed it.
Approval of the bill, which would create legions of jobs and improve broadband, water supplies and other public works, whisked it to the desk of a president whose approval ratings have dropped and whose nervous party got a cold shoulder from voters in this week’s off-year elections.
Here is a collection of reactions to passage of the legislation from Florida’s congressional delegation:
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist:
“Robust investment in America’s crumbling infrastructure — safeguarding our drinking water, repairing our roads and bridges, upgrading our ports – is long overdue. With this blockbuster bill, we’re creating millions of good-paying jobs, investing in Florida’s future, and Building Back Better. This historic, bipartisan bill will also deliver new infrastructure for the 21st century: high-speed rail, solar-powered mass transit, and other innovations that will reduce traffic and protect the environment. It’s about delivering tangible results that will benefit day-to-day life for all Americans.”
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy:
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill will dramatically improve quality of life in Florida by providing residents with better roads and bridges, modern air and seaports, high-speed broadband, and clean water. I’ve been fighting for this historic legislation since it passed the Senate in August and am thrilled we are finally sending it to the President’s desk to be signed into law. I’m pleased we also advanced the separate Build Back Better Act for further consideration. I’m committed to enacting a fiscally-disciplined bill that combats the existential threat of climate change, lowers the cost of prescription drugs without compromising innovation, and invests in working families.”
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor:
“With this vote, the House of Representatives has delivered a historic investment in America’s infrastructure. Our Tampa Bay neighbors deserve modern and safe infrastructure, especially major investments in transit. Rebuilding our infrastructure is especially important to Florida, where 408 bridges and over 3,564 miles of highway are in poor condition…We are also long overdue for major, climate-forward investments in our public transit systems to ensure that all of our neighbors are able to travel safely and efficiently. To protect what makes the Sunshine State special and grow good-paying jobs in Tampa, we are strengthening the investments that support our economy and build more resilient infrastructure.”
U.S. Rep. Val Demings:
“Today’s vote was about jobs and America’s future. When we invest in middle class America, when we invest in people who have to go to work every day, America does better. Our communities need this funding now. Democratic and Republican mayors who are clear-eyed know that investing in our supply chain infrastructure can’t wait, jobs can’t wait, repairs can’t wait, fighting climate change can’t wait, and protecting our health and safety can’t wait.”
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast:
“Tonight’s vote was just the start of Democrats’ attempts to jam through a multitrillion dollar socialist wishlist with the largest tax increase in decades to pay for it. Their reckless spending habit has already caused massive inflation and labor shortages, and I will do everything in my power to stop them from continuing down the path toward socialism.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
“Florida’s tourism economy relies on a strong, modern travel network and Democrats sent bold, job-producing legislation to President Biden that will repair our dilapidated water systems and fix our crumbling roads and bridges. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will do all that by putting thousands of Floridians to work with union and good-paying jobs.”
Florida Senate Democratic Leader Rep. Lauren Book:
“President Biden has delivered on his promise to champion a bipartisan, once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure, creating millions of good-paying jobs and making a real impact on our communities — from clean drinking water and to transformed roads, railways, bridges and ports, and revolutionary investments in clean energy. What’s more, Biden’s plan is fiscally responsible and paid for so working families don’t see any tax increases. This is a true win for the American people, and I thank President Biden and Congressional Democrats for breaking through political gridlock to get things done.”
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz:
“I’m proud of Florida’s Democratic leaders for coming together to invest in our future. Unfortunately Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott voted against this vital infrastructure deal. Their cowardly refusal to support a plan that will boost the economy, create good-paying jobs, and tackle some of our most pressing crises is downright shameful. At a time when we need strong leadership, Floridians won’t forget that Marco Rubio once again prioritized his own political agenda over what’s best for our state.”
Jim McDuffie, president and CEO of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT):
“Enactment of this legislation proves once again that there is bipartisan support for the type of projects that are critical to BTT’s mission of conserving bonefish, tarpon and permit as well as to the broader near-shore marine environment. BTT looks forward to playing an active role in ensuring that funding from the infrastructure bill is utilized to advance science-based approaches to restoring and conserving coastal resources for the benefit of our fisheries and those who rely on them.”