Vice President Joe Biden will sign into law a $305 billion infrastructure bill at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday.
The legislation was passed by Congress on Sept. 30, giving the president the major win he needed to recast his oft-stated ‘America first’ campaign slogan.
The passage of the legislation marked a major victory for President Trump and Republicans who had argued that the country needed more infrastructure spending to shore up the economy and create jobs. The bill will also serve as a boost for Republican congressional leaders looking to help their candidates in this year’s midterm elections.
Democrats had complained that the spending bill was too focused on commercializing the existing national infrastructure, such as U.S. ports, airports and highways. Democrats also complained that not enough was spent on infrastructure projects that don’t involve private sector investment, such as mass transit and water projects. Democrats also objected to a $29 billion tax credit specifically for steelmakers, arguing that it would favor the domestic industry while doing little to reduce foreign steel imports that had contributed to a global steel glut.
Earlier on Thursday, the White House announced that first lady Melania Trump, daughter-in-law Ivanka Trump and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney would be coming to Delaware to help commemorate the historic signing ceremony. Mulvaney, who was a South Carolina congressman when the bill was first unveiled and opposed it, was a fierce critic of the legislation as a budget analyst.
The bill appropriated $110 billion for infrastructure investment over the next two years, as well as $48 billion over 10 years to modernize the country’s roads, bridges, ports and airports. The legislation puts $200 billion toward infrastructure, which includes $50 billion over five years to leverage in private investment, and another $40 billion over six years for rural communities.
The administration has sought to use public-private partnerships with industry and other private players to rebuild roads, airports and other key transportation hubs at a cost of $200 billion over 10 years.
That has energized some industry executives and some state and local officials who had struggled to secure much-needed funding to upgrade their infrastructure, especially in states that rely heavily on privately-run toll roads.
The Washington Post’s John Wagner contributed to this report.