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Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith reports on President Biden signing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan into law on Monday, the outlook for the Build Back Better package, and the latest news from Washington.
JULIE HYMAN: We also are watching other things in Washington, of course, besides the inflation debate, right? And that is, of course, infrastructure is happening as well. It actually was, I guess, infrastructure week last week. And now we are expecting the president to be signing the infrastructure bill today. Our Jessica Smith is in Washington. So talk to us about that ceremony and how it's playing in Washington, even as the Democrats are now trying to get a spending bill going again.
JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Julie. The president wanted to have this bipartisan ceremony once lawmakers got back to Washington. They were gone last week. So now that they're back in DC, he wants to have this ceremony with members of Congress who were critical in getting this bill across the finish line.
You'll remember, 19 Republicans in the Senate voted for this infrastructure bill, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, though he is not expected to be at the ceremony today. There are expected to be governors, business leaders, mayors, and others there, all as President Biden tries to take a bit of a victory lap here on this infrastructure bill.
The White House did announce yesterday that former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu will coordinate the implementation of the infrastructure law. The White House said they've been working to get programs ready to go ahead of this signing. But it could be a couple of months before the projects actually get started.
And as you mentioned, this is just one piece of President Biden's economic agenda. He is also trying to get that social spending package across the finish line. The House is expected to vote on the Build Back Better plan at some point this week. You'll remember moderates had been waiting on that full CBO score before they voted for the package.
And we are expecting that could come. We could get an update today. That score could come sometime over the next week. We are still waiting on those details. The Senate needs that too in order to take this bill up.
This week, the Senate is working to make sure all the provisions in the bill are in line with the reconciliation rules. And Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did say over the weekend that this week, the Senate is going to take up their annual defense spending bill. So that would likely push the Build Back Better plan into early December because we have Thanksgiving coming up. And of course, we have a lot of things going on in early December, from government funding to debt ceiling and potentially this Build Back Better plan.
So going to be a busy few weeks here in Washington as they try to complete the rest of President Biden's agenda. But today, a victory lap on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, with this ceremony at 3 o'clock. Guys?
BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah. And a pretty busy day on tap for President Biden. Of course, Jess, important meeting for him this evening.
JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, this evening, he's meeting virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The call has been in the works for quite a while. His administration has been having conversations with their Chinese counterparts throughout his presidency, really building up to this meeting.
President Biden has talked about how he prefers to meet people in person. He has long talked about his relationship with the Chinese president. He has worked with him extensively before. But today, the plan is to kind of set the rules of the road, set the terms of competition with China.
The White House is kind of lowering expectations for specific deliverables. But we expect them to talk about areas of competition, areas where the United States disagrees with China. Of course, human rights abuses is going to be one of the issues that is raised. And then they also plan on talking about areas where they could cooperate, like climate change. Again, that meeting starts at 7:45 this evening. So we'll keep you updated on what comes of that.
JULIE HYMAN: Thanks, Jess. Appreciate it.