Biden signs into law $1 trillion infrastructure investment bill

Nov 16 , 2021. 2 hours ago – 07:57 KYODO NEWS

U.S. President Joe Biden signs the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as he is surrounded by lawmakers and members of his Cabinet during a ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House on Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington. (Getty/Kyodo)

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law a $1 trillion infrastructure investment bill, a key victory for the president as he seeks to deliver on his promise to create millions of jobs and to position the country to compete with a rising China.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes $550 billion in new federal funding over five years, took months to pass the narrowly divided Congress amid infighting among moderates and progressives within Biden’s Democratic Party.

The law will pave the way for what Biden calls a “once-in-a-generation investment” in infrastructure, including roads, bridges, high-speed internet access and toward building out a national network of electric-vehicle charging stations.

“Because of this law, next year will be the first year in 20 years American infrastructure investment will grow faster than China’s,” Biden said at the White House during a signing ceremony for the bipartisan infrastructure law.

The president said he believes Monday will be recalled 50 years in the future as the moment “America began to win the competition of the 21st century.”

Biden is expected to pitch the infrastructure law, along with a $1.75 trillion social-spending package that he also hopes to be enacted, as his major achievements ahead of next year’s midterm elections when control of Congress will be at stake.

The development comes as Biden has seen his job approval rating hit 42 percent in October, its lowest point, after beginning his term with relatively solid ratings, ranging between 54 percent and 57 percent from January through June, according to a Gallup poll.

The Biden administration has been facing headwinds due to a surge of coronavirus infections in the summer and a chaotic U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in late August. Months of stalemate over the infrastructure bill and the social safety net package also apparently dragged on his public support rating.

When comparing Biden’s job approval average for the third quarter of the first year of a presidency, Gallup says only Republican Donald Trump had a lower rating over the past 50 years. Trump’s rating averaged 36.9 percent at that same point.

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