House Passes $715 Billion Surface Transportation Bill Amid Bipartisan Infrastructure Negotiations

(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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The House of Representatives passed its five-year surface transportation bill worth $715 billion Thursday as the White House and senators work to gather enough congressional support for their own infrastructure plan.

The INVEST Act allocates $343 billion to roads, bridges and related safety measures, $109 billion to public transit, $95 billion to freight and passenger rail, $117 billion to drinking water infrastructure and $51 billion to wastewater infrastructure.

The bill passed 221 to 201 on a near party-line vote.

Its passage follows an agreement between President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators on a $579 billion infrastructure plan.

Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio, the chair of the House Transportation Committee and the House bill’s author, has yet to say whether the House and Senate will work through the differences in the two bills in order to reach a compromise that is likely to pass both chambers, noting that details of the bipartisan agreement have yet to be released.

“The Senate bipartisan deal is an outline, and it has good numbers,” DeFazio said during a press conference Wednesday. “I believe we could work out the spending levels in the bill, but there is no policy attached to their proposal.”

The Brent Spence Bridge, deemed “functionally obsolete” due to the amount of daily traffic it carries, spans the Ohio River on the Ohio-Kentucky border. (JEFF DEAN/AFP via Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, has said that she will not bring a bipartisan infrastructure to the floor until the Senate passes a reconciliation bill with funding for climate change provisions, child care, education and other Democratic priorities. Biden also supports the reconciliation bill, but no Republicans have shown similar support. (RELATED: Democrats Threaten To Sink Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Without A Complementary Reconciliation Package)

Biden said that both bills had to be passed “in tandem” last week, but walked back his remarks on Saturday after Senate Republicans objected and threatened to withdraw their support for the bipartisan bill.

“My comments also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent,” Biden said.

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