It was reported that Senate negotiators and the White House have agreed to a final version of the bipartisan infrastructure framework. While nothing is ever over until the ink is dry, there is every reason to be optimistic. It is also a good time to cheer something that is too rare these days in our national politics.
While the legislative language is not yet public, the agreement is complete enough that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will move to a cloture vote soon, seemingly with the knowledge that 10 Republicans and all 50 members of the Democratic Caucus will advance the legislation.
Too often we need to remind those in Washington that compromise is far different from capitulation. The fringes of both parties often deride compromise and instead turn up the rhetorical heat for their own self-interests at the mention of uniting on a bill. History, however, shows that compromise is not only often needed, but exactly what the nation requires. Given the emotion and desires surrounding any issue, various doctrinaire factions will work to see that compromise is always very difficult to achieve. Lord knows we have seen enough of that over recent times!
But it is imperative that at the end of the day the governing process works for the national needs. Like what appears to now be the case with infrastructure funding.
There is much to say about how compromises must be constructed to allow for everyone to feel they gained something while knowing they also gave something up. Too often in Washington, it has been difficult even getting to the point of thinking in broad terms that the art of compromise is a worthwhile goal. That is astonishing to me.
Therefore, I am very pleased that this measure is moving forward as it will pump the largest infusion of federal money in more than a decade into the nation’s aging public works system. The bill is expected to provide about $550 billion in new federal money for roads, bridges, rail, transit, water, and other physical infrastructure programs.
The growing need for such investments has been a decades-long discussion. Now, at last, it seems we have found common ground with which to move forward concerning these pressing needs.
And so it goes.