New infrastructure bill passed, possibly a signal for more change

Photo Courtesy of jlhervas, Flickr

After months of intense lobbying and push from the Democratic party, the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill introduced by President Joe Biden passed the House on Friday. The House voted 221-213, clearing the way for a final vote on a domestic policy and climate change bill.

“As part of this agreement, at the request of the president, and to ensure we pass both bills through the House, progressives will advance the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the House rule on Build Back Better tonight,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal in a statement.

This bill aims to increase the nation’s transportation systems, social safety net, broadband, utility funding and more infrastructure-based improvements. With the improvement of infrastructure, Biden has expressed that an economy and employment boost are sure to follow. More so, it fulfills Biden’s presidential campaign promise to “build back America” after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Democrats are determined to pass the spending bill through the Senate by Thanksgiving.

The passing of Biden’s spending bill in the House proves to be a tremendous accomplishment due to the fact that Washington has been attempting to improve infrastructure for years. As climate change activists have expressed, recent weather disasters prove the urgency of this bill.

Biden said in a statement after the House vote that the bill will “create millions of jobs, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21st Century.”

With climate change becoming a central part of Biden’s spending bill, students and younger generations hold a degree of obligation to consider how the phenomenon will affect the world they live in years from now.

“It seems like climate change is one of the largest parts of Biden's spending bill, which sounds good especially after [how I felt about] the previous administration that not only didn't really do anything to help, also had intentions to repeal/withdraw environmental protections,” said junior Kristina Hollosi in an interview.

Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to decrease global greenhouse gas emissions and in turn limit the global temperature.

However, not every member of Gen Z agrees that Biden’s spending plan will be particularly beneficial.

“I think an important issue that has been and is still overlooked is the production of electronic waste, or ‘E-Waste’ that isn’t being recycled, wasting rare Earth metals and polluting the environment,”  said senior Spencer Budd in an interview. “I would’ve liked to have seen a resolution for that mounting issue, especially with an influx in electric vehicle production.”

“It’s important to remember, though, that the inflation caused by the Biden Administration, in part due to this bill, will more dramatically impact the lower class, who are more likely concerned with feeding their families than saving the environment,” Budd said.

The Biden Administration will now be overseeing one of the largest infrastructure upgrades in American history. Despite this, lawmakers still need to decide whether to raise or suspend the country’s debt ceiling by early December.