House Passes $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill

House Passes $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill

July 01, 2020  | Jeff Davis

The House of Representatives at 5:23 p.m. passed H.R. 2, the 2,300-page, $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill put forward by House Democrats, by a roll call vote of 233 yeas, 188 nays, after two days of debate during which 162 amendments were adopted. Three Republicans voted “yes” and two Democrats and one Independent voted “no.”

Our subscribers-only floor amendment log has been updated with the summary, disposition, and link to the text of every transportation-related amendment offered. (The bill, and some of the amendments, cover a lot of non-transportation things as well that are beyond our ken.)

All of the amendment outcomes seemed pre-ordained since the House Rules Committee announced the debate procedures for the bill on June 29, but there was a surprise at the very end. As the final “motion to recommit” the bill before passage, Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) offered instructions to add one final amendment – a complete ban on using any funds authorized by or provided by any part of H.R. 2 (or authorized or provided by any amendments made by H.R. 2 to underlying statute) from being used in “awarding a contract, subcontract, grant, or loan to an entity that— (1) is owned or controlled by, is a subsidiary of, or is otherwise related legally or financially to a corporation based in” the People’s Republic of China, or (2) is identified in a forthcoming report as being involved in operating Uyghur concentration camps or performing surveillance in the Uyghur region.

Even though the header at the top of the Crawford amendment says “State-Owned Enterprises,” that is misleading – the actual amendment text makes no distinction between publicly owned and privately owned companies. So this language appears to go much farther than previously enacted bans on using mass transit dollars to buy railcars or buses from Chinese state-owned or state-subsidized manufacturers and appears to supersede that earlier law. The Crawford motion was adopted by a roll call vote of 224 yeas, 193 nays, with several dozen Democrats joining Republicans to pass the motion.

After the motion to recommit was adopted, the amendment was incorporated into the bill seconds later, and the vote on final passage began.

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