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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Craig Hudson/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The House on Friday passed, 228-206, a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, handing President Biden a major victory after months of party infighting and negotiations.

Why it matters: The core piece of Biden’s signature domestic agenda includes massive investments in roads, bridges and waterways, among other “hard infrastructure” provisions.

  • The president hailed passage of the legislation as "a monumental step forward as a nation," and said he looked forward to signing the measure.
  • Thirteen Republicans voted in favor of passage: Reps. Don Young of Alaska; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Don Bacon of Nebraska; Jeff Van Drew and Chris Smith of New Jersey; Andrew Garbarino, John Katko, Nicole Malliotakis and Tom Reed of New York; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania; and David McKinley of West Virginia.
  • Meanwhile, six Democrats voted against the bill: Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Cori Bush of Missouri and Jamaal Bowman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

How it happened: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent a majority of the evening on the phone working all factions in her party before House moderates and progressives brokered a deal that led to the two votes.

  • The deal: Moderate holdouts for the Build Back Better Act, who demanded a CBO score before committing to vote on infrastructure, agreed to sign an assurance that they would vote in favor of its passage once the score is released, a lawmaker told Axios' Hans Nichols.
  • Biden got directly involved in the negotiations on Friday evening, delaying his departure to Rehoboth Beach amid the stalled legislation. Huddling with his policy and legislative teams, he made calls from the residence to House leadership, progressives and moderates to find a solution, per a White House official.
  • Hours of meetings ensued, and history was made as the House kept open the two longest-ever votes while members were kept from the floor during deliberations.

The backdrop: The House early Saturday morning approved a procedural vote necessary to open the Build Back Better Act to passage as part of an agreement to get all Democrats on board with the infrastructure bill.

  • On Friday morning, leadership had planned to vote on the social spending bill first, but after hours of negotiations with moderate holdouts failed to make headway, Pelosi opted instead to hold a vote on the bipartisan bill.

The House will take up a vote on the social spending bill after it is scored by the CBO sometime following next week's recess.

What’s in it: The infrastructure bill will cost $1.2 trillion over eight years, and offers more than $550 billion in new spending, including:

  • $110 billion toward roads, bridges and other much-needed infrastructure fix-ups across the country; $40 billion is new funding for bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation and $17.5 billion is for major projects;
  • $73 billion for the country's electric grid and power structures;
  • $66 billion for rail services;
  • $65 billion for broadband;
  • $55 billion for water infrastructure;
  • $21 billion in environmental remediation;
  • $47 billion for flooding and coastal resiliency as well as "climate resiliency," including protections against fires, etc.;
  • $39 billion to modernize transit, which is the largest federal investment in public transit in history, according to the White House;
  • $25 billion for airports;
  • $17 billion in port infrastructure;
  • $11 billion in transportation safety programs;
  • $7.5 billion for electric vehicles and EV charging; $2.5 billion in zero-emission buses, $2.5 billion in low-emission buses, and $2.5 billion for ferries;
  • The bill will include language regarding enforcement of unemployment insurance fraud;
  • And it will add $256 billion in projected deficits over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Go deeper

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

The lawmakers playing up infrastructure the most

Expand chart
Data: Quorum; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Both of the Democrats' vulnerable Arizona senators have been some of the most active lawmakers in hyping "infrastructure" in their press releases, newsletters, tweets and Facebook posts.

Why it matters: Democrats are hopeful their successes on roads, bridges — and, possibly, expanding the social safety net — will lessen losses they're expecting in the 2022 midterms. The social media activity has been tracked since President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package into law.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 4 mins ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.