President Joe Biden signed into law a $1 trillion infrastructure bill at a White House ceremony on Monday, a bipartisan victory that will pour efforts—and billions—into the nation’s roads, ports, and power lines.
The bill-signing event, held in chilly weather on the White House South Lawn to accommodate a crowd of over 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—became a rare moment that drew members of the parties to stand together and celebrate a bipartisan achievement. This proves that despite the cynics, Republicans and Democrats can work together to deliver results, as explained in Biden’s speech. He called the bill a “blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America.”
“Too often in Washington, the reason we don’t get things done is that we insist on getting everything we want. With this law, we focused on getting things done,” Biden said.
While the bill fell short of realizing Biden’s full-scale ambitions for overhauling America’s transportation and energy systems, the President of the United States or POTUS, pointed out that this move would better position the country in competing against China and other nations that are vying for dominance of 21st-century emerging industries. It also showed that democratic governments could deliver success among their citizens.
“Let’s remember what we’ve got done for the American people when we do come together,” Mr. Biden said, celebrating the bill on the South Lawn of the White House. “I truly believe that 50 years from now, historians are going to look back at this moment and say that’s the moment America began to win the competition of the 21st century,” he added.
The bill that Biden signed into law does not aim to address the nation’s backlog in infrastructure developments. Still, administration officials and a wide range of economists and business groups largely agree that the bill is the most important step in a generation toward upgrading critical infrastructure and that it could soon begin to pay dividends for a wide range of businesses and people, from electric vehicle manufacturers to rural web surfers.
The first wave of spending will go to areas that the President has prioritized during negotiations, such as tens of billions of dollars to improve access to broadband internet and to replace hazardous lead drinking pipes. Some of it will also help clear backlogs at the nation’s ports that are contributing much to various shipping delays.
While some may assume that the infrastructure bill will push the American economy to greater heights, the House has clarified that it does not seek to do so. Officials say the administration will focus as much on “shovel-worthy” projects—meaning those that make the most of federal dollars—as they will on “shovel-ready” ones that would dump money into the economy more quickly. The bill was designed to deliver money in the years to come, in part to avoid more price increases across an economy that is experiencing its highest inflation rate in decades.