⏰ Happy Saturday. Your phone will fall back tonight, giving you a secret hour of sleep.
🎥 Coming tomorrow on "Axios on HBO"(6 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max): I interview Sen. Josh Hawley ... Jonathan Swan flies to India to talk vaccines with Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla ... and Margaret Talev sits down with Amtrak CEO William Flynn in Penn Station’s new Moynihan Hall. Watch a clip.
Smart Brevity™ count: 1,196 words ... 4½ minutes. Edited by Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath.
1 big thing: Build Back Biden
When it looked like she might be some 20 votes shy yesterday afternoon, Speaker Pelosi told reporters she had a "Speaker's secret whip count."
"I don't tell anything that people tell me — not even you, my dear, good friends," she said. "But I have a pretty good feeling."
Bluffing or not, seven suspenseful hours later — at 11:26 p.m. — Pelosi delivered a historic victory for President Biden, just as his agenda looked like it might vaporize.
"Finally: Infrastructure Week!" Biden said at the White House this morning.
The House passed, 228-206, a $1.2 trillion "hard infrastructure" bill, with massive investments in roads, bridges, broadband and more.
House leaders didn't have the votes on the bigger half of Biden's agenda — $1.85 trillion to expand the social safety net — and punted to later this month. (The House is out for a week.)
The infrastructure bill,passed by the Senate in August, now goes to Biden for signing.
Zoom out: Infrastructure was the easier half. But congressional leaders and the White House were dying to lock in a win after Tuesday's results gave Democrats a grim prelude to next year's midterms.
🐦 Terry McAuliffe, who had been pushing fellow Dems to pass the infrastructure bill ahead of his disastrous Election Day in Virginia, last night "liked" a 10:53 p.m. tweet from Punchbowl's Jake Sherman proclaiming: "INFRASTRUCTURE VOTE!"
Here's the deal: Progressives wanted the packages voted on together, fearing moderates would pocket the win on infrastructure — then let the social spending die. But House Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal says she got a guarantee: "Every single one of those individuals looked us in the eyes and said they were voting for it."
Moderate holdouts, who were demanding a Congressional Budget Office price tag for the social-spending bill, agreed to sign a statement they'd vote "aye" once the analysis is released, Axios' Hans Nichols reports.
Biden had planned to head to Rehoboth Beach, Del., yesterday. POTUS postponed his weekend and spent hours in the residence making calls to House members.
Go deeper: "The infrastructure Republicans," by Andrew Solender.
Three presidents — Bush, Obama and Biden — were at the Washington National Cathedral for yesterday's funeral for Gen. Colin Powell, a son of the Bronx who went on to serve his fellow Americans around the world.
Go deeper: A photo timeline of Gen. Powell's life.
5. Houston stampede kills 8
At least eight people died and scores were injured in Houston last night in what officials described as a surge of the crowd at the Astroworld music festival while rapper Travis Scott was performing, AP reports.
"The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic," the fire chief said. "People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic."
I consulted with a now good friend of mine, Joe Rogan, after he got COVID — and I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that he recommended in his podcasts and on the phone to me.
I’m not an anti-vax, flat-earther. I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long-term immunization protocol to protect myself, and I’m very proud of the research that went into that.