Business groups urge Biden to swiftly sign infrastructure bill

Business groups urge Biden to swiftly sign infrastructure bill
© Associated Press/Alex Brandon

Corporations and business groups are calling on President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE to sign the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law quickly after it finally cleared Congress late Friday.

The business community has rallied behind the infrastructure package, which makes huge investments in roads, bridges, broadband internet, drinking water, rail and public transit without raising taxes on corporations. Business groups say that Biden should sign the bill as soon as possible so transportation officials can get started on construction projects.

“We urge President Biden to quickly sign this bipartisan package into law, so we can build back better with increased jobs, enhanced safety, and improved roads,” Jay Hansen, executive vice president for advocacy at the National Asphalt Pavement Association, said in a statement after the bill passed the House.

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Biden said Friday that he will sign the infrastructure bill “soon,” calling the legislation "long overdue." The White House has indicated that the president will not hold up the bill’s signing until Democrats pass their $1.75 trillion climate and social spending package, a move that some progressive groups are pushing for. 

“[W]e are encouraged that President Biden has indicated he will sign the bill quickly to ensure our communities receive these long-awaited resources soon, allowing critical projects to move forward,” Dennis Truax, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, said in a statement.

The infrastructure bill passed the House 228-206 on Friday. Thirteen Republicans voted for the bill, while six progressive Democrats voted against it, arguing that Democratic leaders didn’t do enough to ensure that the party’s moderates would support the larger reconciliation package.

The infrastructure legislation had cleared the Senate in August, with 19 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in support.

Nearly every major business group in Washington, D.C., backed the infrastructure bill while opposing the reconciliation package, which will implement a minimum tax on corporate profits.

The Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs at some of the nation’s largest companies, urged Biden to “swiftly sign” the infrastructure bill. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest American corporate lobbying group, called the bill’s passage “a major win for America.”

Ford Motor Co., which will benefit from the bill’s investment in electric vehicle charging stations, lauded the House vote as “great news for the United States’ infrastructure and transition to a zero emissions transportation future” and said it looked forward to Biden’s signature.