Biden to sign infrastructure bill Monday during bipartisan ceremony

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden will sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday, joined by a bipartisan group of members of Congress during a ceremony at the White House, according to a White House official.

A bipartisan group of governors and mayors, as well as labor union and business leaders, would also join Biden at the ceremony, according to the official. The members of Congress who will attend will include those who helped write the legislation, the official said.

Facing low poll numbers, rising inflation and challenges getting the rest of his legislative priorities passed, the president has put off signing the infrastructure bill in order to put his major, bipartisan accomplishment on display.

During his remarks Monday, Biden also plans to address how the infrastructure legislation will play a role in bolstering supply chains and dealing with bottlenecks, the White House official said. The president planned to visit a port in Baltimore on Wednesday with a similar message.

The House of Representatives passed the bill late Friday, after the Senate passed it in August. Biden has said he wanted to hold a ceremony with members of Congress, who were on recess and out of Washington this week, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris, who is currently visiting France.

“Vice President Harris and I look forward to having a formal signing ceremony for this bipartisan infrastructure soon,” Biden told reporters Saturday.

“I’m not doing it this weekend,” he added, “because I want people who worked so hard to get this done — Democrats and Republicans — to be here when we sign it.”

The bill, officially known as the the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, provides hundreds of billions of dollars to improve the nation’s highways, bridges and roads; passenger rail; public transit; broadband access; and the power grid, among other investments in physical infrastructure.

The White House has cited outside economists to argue it will create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next decade.

Despite wide public support for the infrastructure bill — as well as for the “Build Back Better” social bill he is also trying to push through Congress — the president himself has suffered from low approval ratings.

Biden and his administration have launched a public relations campaign to promote the two bills, with the president visiting a port in Baltimore on Wednesday and sitting for an interview with a Cincinnati television station, and Cabinet officials conducting interviews to explain how the infrastructure bill in particular will benefit Americans.

A nationwide poll from Monmouth University conducted Nov. 4 to 8 found that 42% of Americans approved of the way Biden was handling his job, and 64% of respondents said they believed things in the United States have gotten off on the wrong track.

But 65% of respondents said they supported the infrastructure package, and 62% said they supported the larger social spending plan.

In the coming weeks, the president, vice president, and Cabinet will continue to travel the country to communicate how the law will help communities, grow the economy, and position America to compete in the 21st century.

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