On Monday, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684). As the White House shifts its attention from passage to implementation of the infrastructure bill, it was announced that former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will be tasked with overseeing the process. It is expected that Landrieu will work closely with National Economic Council Director Brian Deese in appointing a group of aides to oversee this massive implementation task. The panel — which Biden established via an executive order — will be directed to disperse the $550 billion in new spending in alignment with administration priorities. These include prioritizing projects that use U.S. suppliers, offer union jobs, and are designed to withstand the impacts of climate change. 

In addition to implementation of the infrastructure package, President Biden must also now turn his attention to the second part of his economic agenda, the $1.75 trillion reconciliation package—the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). At the request of moderate Democrats, a vote in the House on the reconciliation package had been awaiting the release of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate. By Thursday, the CBO released cost estimates for all thirteen titles of the bill, which found $1.636 trillion of spending, while raising $1.269 trillion in revenue over 10 years and adding $367 billion to U.S. budget deficits over the decade. The White House disagreed with this estimate, circulating its own rival score for the bill showing a $112.5 billion deficit decrease. The difference in the estimate stems from a disagreement on how much increased tax collection can result from expanding the Internal Revenue Service’s budget. Republicans have used the CBO estimate to argue that the bill will increase inflation, stifle job creation, foster dependency on the government, and add to the national debt.  

On Thursday evening, House Democrats brought the Build Back Better Act to the floor for a vote but were faced with a record-breaking floor speech from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who ended his speech at 5:11 a.m. The House returned on Friday morning and successfully passed the bill, sending it to the Senate. Changes to the bill are expected in the Senate where Democrats have yet to line up the 50 votes they need to pass it using the filibuster-proof budget process known as reconciliation.