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President Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law Monday, enacting a key piece of his domestic spending agenda that will funnel billions to states and local governments to upgrade outdated roads, bridges, transit systems and more.
The event — which the White House said was in front of some 800 guests, including members of Congress, governors and state and local officials from both sides of the aisle, as well as labor and business leaders — saw the president deliver on two key campaign promises: his vow to broker legislation that could get support from both Republicans and Democrats; and his pledge to get major legislation to provide badly needed money for public works projects that his predecessors from both parties tried repeatedly to move, but failed to deliver.
In the South Lawn ceremony, Biden said that people have heard “countless speeches and promises, white papers from the experts” about the need to improve the nation’s roads, bridges and other forms of infrastructure. “But today, we are finally getting this done,” Biden said. “So my message to the American people is this: America is moving again, and your life is going to change for the better.”
GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, one of the bill’s authors, also focused on bipartisanship. “This is what can happen when Republicans and Democrats say we’re going to work together to get something done,” he said.
Portman, who is not running for reelection next year, also praised former President Donald Trump, who he said had “furthered the discussion” on infrastructure during his tenure. Trump declared “Infrastructure Week” several times during his term, but was never able to get a bill through Congress.
The legislation signed into law Monday attracted support from 19 Senate Republicans and 13 House GOP members, despite strong opposition from Trump and some GOP leaders who linked it to a larger, partisan domestic spending package.
Still, it was a stark change from previous infrastructure bills, which have passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan votes. Trump has also attacked many of the GOP lawmakers who voted for it and has encouraged primary challenges to them.
Portman alluded to the threats issued by Trump and others aimed at the Republicans who voted for the measure. “Finding common ground to advance the interests of the American people should be rewarded, not attacked,” Portman said.
Several Republicans who negotiated the bill attended the signing ceremony, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
Republicans backing bill face threats
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., opposed the bipartisan bill and tweeted out the names of the 13 House Republicans, calling them “traitors.” She also included phone numbers of their offices. She and a small group of Republicans are urging GOP leaders to strip those who backed the bill from their committee assignments.
Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton told the Detroit News he has received over 1,000 calls, including “nasty death threats” after Greene posted his number. Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., told the Buffalo News he also received threats and reported them to police.
A 64-year-old man was arrested last week in Nassau County in New York after threatening to kill Rep. Andrew Garbarino, citing his support for the infrastructure bill. Garbarino told the New York Post the police had visited his home and were more concerned about the threats now than ones he’s received in the past.
Top Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have been largely silent about the threats.
At a fundraiser for the House Republicans’ campaign arm, Trump urged his party to stay unified against Biden’s agenda.