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Joe Biden, with Kamala Harris, speaks about the infrastructure bill on Aug. 10. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden praised the Senate's passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package Tuesday, calling it "long overdue, much-needed investments in basic, hard infrastructure."

Why it matters: The legislation's passage is a major victory for the Biden administration and would deliver hundreds of billions of dollars for roads, bridges, waterways and other "hard infrastructure" items.

What he's saying: Biden thanked the bipartisan group of senators who worked on the legislation and touted the bill's varied investments in things such as electric vehicle charging stations, public transit, and drinking water systems.

  • "Experts believe that the majority of the bill’s benefits will flow to working families. Faster commutes, cleaner water, less expense, available and affordable internet. These are the things that working families need," Biden said.
  • "I want to thank those senators who worked so hard to bring this agreement together. ... For the Republicans who supported this bill, you showed a lot of courage."
  • "Here on this bill, we proved we can still come together to do big things, important things for the American people."

Vice President Kamala Harris praised the legislation's investments and job creation, saying it would help the U.S. stay competitive in the world.

  • "[T]oday we move one step closer to making a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation's infrastructure," Harris said.
  • "It provides people with what they need to get where they need to go," she added. "It will do that while also creating millions of good union jobs for our nation's workers."

What to watch: The bill now heads to the House, where it still faces an uphill battle.

Go deeper

Biden meeting with key House Democrats

President Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden is hosting two separate in-person meetings with moderate and progressive House members at the White House on Tuesday as infrastructure negotiations continue, White House officials told Axios.

Why it matters: This is the latest in the president’s efforts to appease the more volatile parts of his party’s coalition as Democrats wrangle over how to cut his social spending proposal down from $3.5 trillion to closer to $2 trillion.

Oct 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Manchin's red lines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has told the White House the child tax credit must include a firm work requirement and family income cap in the $60,000 range, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: While Manchin’s demands would dramatically weaken one of President Biden’s signature programs to help working families, they also would reduce the package’s overall costs.

Rachel Levine sworn in as first openly transgender 4-star officer

Rachel Levine testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Feb. 25, 2021. Photo: Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images

Rachel Levine was sworn in on Tuesday as the admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, making her the nation's first openly transgender four-star officer, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

The big picture: Levine, the assistant secretary for health, made history in March when she became the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.