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As infrastructure bill is signed, Ohio's Democratic senator predicts another big Biden win soon

US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) campaigns with Dayton mayor Nan Whaley, who's running for the Democratic nomination for governor, at a child care facility on Columbus' south side on Friday, November 12, 2021.
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) campaigns with Dayton mayor Nan Whaley, who's running for the Democratic nomination for governor, at a child care facility on Columbus' south side on Friday, November 12, 2021.

President Biden will sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill at the White House today, in a ceremony featuring both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. And Ohio’s Democratic US Senator says he expects a signing for the next step in Biden’s economic agenda to happen soon.

19 Republicans in the Senate and 13 in the House voted for the infrastructure bill, including Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and US Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Rocky River).

Portman and US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will both attend the signing ceremony. Brown said Portman's role in getting the bill passed was "significant", and that the two worked closely on the part of the bill to ensure taxpayer money is going to American-made products.

"Portman and I wrote the strongest 'buy American' provisions ever in a federal law. So no more bridges like the Bay Bridge in California built with Chinese steel. All of those will be part of it," Brown said. "And it's broad enough and big enough and deep enough, if you will, that all of it will start quickly."

All but one of the Republican candidates who want to replace Portman have denounced his vote for the infrastructure bill.

Brown said Biden delivered this infrastructure bill when the three previous presidents failed. And he said that gives him confidence that the social spending package known as Build Back Better will get passed – by Thanksgiving.

“We're not going to split up the Build Back Better into 20 things and three of them, maybe we get Republican votes. We're going to pass it because it's what - the public doesn't care what's partisan or how we do it or filibusters and closure. They don't care," Brown said. "We're going to do what we need to do for the country."

The Build Back Better bill includes money for child care and universal pre-kindergarten, paid parental leave and climate change, among other things. Brown said there's agreement with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on universal pre-K and that Manchin supports the extension of the child tax credit.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.