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San Diego congresswoman weighs in on passage of bipartisan bill

President Joe Biden says he is elated the infrastructure bill passed Friday night, calling it a monumental step forward but what will it mean for San Diegans?

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Breaking down the big bipartisan infrastructure bill, Democrat Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, who represents much of central San Diego in her 53rd congressional district, says the trillion dollar investment in roads, bridges and transportation could start to take shape locally sooner than we think.

"There are so many amazing things in this bill for us in San Diego," said Jacobs. "One of the things that's really exciting about this bill is actually gives a lot of discretionary funding to the Department of Transportation so that they're able to get money out the door quickly,”

Taking much longer and well into the night, progressive Democrats got on board, voting to pass the infrastructure bill after party leaders promised the larger social spending measure would get a vote no later than the week of Nov. 15.

"We've always said we need to get both bills done and tonight, we have an agreement to get both bills done,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Chair, Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Thirteen Republicans voted for the bipartisan bill, which passed the Senate back in August, but after months of delay, Democrats found themselves deadlocked in disagreement.

"There were a few hiccups along the way, the process was a little bit messy, but it was exactly how legislation is supposed to work,” Jacobs said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a last-minute decision to move forward with the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan alone, making it one bill down and now a new plan for passing the "Build Back Better" bill.

"A once-in-a-generation investment that's gonna create millions of jobs,” Biden said.

President Biden's plan is to update broadband service, lower costs for working families, and replace lead water pipes.

"How long have we been talking about that? It is a gigantic issue,” said Biden.

But lawmakers against the bill say Congress can do better. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa says the bill "doesn't build anything. It destroys”

In a statement Issa’s says:

“This bill abuses our national need for infrastructure by holding it hostage. The ransom? More than $1 trillion in new borrowing, $400 billion added to the deficit, and at least two-thirds *not* spent on physical infrastructure. This was not Congress at its best."

Jacobs said California agencies will be able to submit requests to the Department of Transportation to decide which projects best align with the broader goals to get started.

“I think in the next year or so, people will start seeing the effects of this infrastructure spending," said Jacobs. "It is a 10-year bill, so it is money that is meant to be spread out over 10 years.”

Now, the focus is on the week of Nov. 15 for a vote on the “Build back better” bill, which includes a historic investment in childcare.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego's top stories for Nov. 6, 2021 at 5 p.m. 

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