White House says Biden will sign infrastructure bill as soon as he gets it

White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that President Biden wouldn’t wait to sign the infrastructure bill and would sign it after it passes the House.

“If the infrastructure bill is passed today, he will sign it,” Jean-Pierre told reporters during a briefing Friday afternoon, several hours before the infrastructure bill eventually passed the House. “It’s important to get that done for the American public.”

Jean-Pierre stressed, however, that both the infrastructure bill and broader spending package are “critically important” to Biden.

“He wants to move both of them forward as quickly as possible,” she said.

Later Friday night, the House passed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure measure and advanced — but didn’t yet vote on — Biden’s larger climate and social spending package, after the president helped broker a deal between House Democrat moderates and progressives.

Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech on the bill Saturday morning, though it’s unclear precisely when it will move from Capitol Hill to the White House, a process that sometimes takes several days. 

The vote on the infrastructure bill remained in flux on Friday at the time of Jean-Pierre’s comments, after House progressives rejected a plan to vote on the rule setting up debate for the spending package, and the infrastructure bill on Friday, while putting off a vote on the substance of the broader spending bill until later in the month.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed Friday afternoon to move forward with the votes, however, despite progressive opposition.

Progressives eventually caved on their demands for both bills to pass together after receiving written commitments from five moderates to support the package if a forthcoming Congressional Budget Office analysis matches the White House analysis of the bill. House lawmakers are now looking to advance the package the week of Nov. 15. 

Biden was making calls to members with Vice President Harris and senior aides late into the evening Friday as House leaders sorted out a path forward on the bills. 

In a statement released after midnight, Biden characterized the passage of the infrastructure bill as a “monumental step forward” and said he looks “forward to signing both of these bills into law.”

The Senate passed the infrastructure bill in August but it has stalled in the House as progressives refused to vote in favor of it without movement on the climate and social spending legislation. 

— Updated Nov. 6 at 7:47 a.m.

Tags Build Back Better Infrastructure Joe Biden Karine Jean-Pierre Nancy Pelosi

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