The U.S. House of Representatives broke its deadlock over the long-awaited $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Friday night by a vote of 228-206, finally sending the legislation to the desk of President Joe Biden.
The bill, approved by the Senate in August before spinning wheels in the House, includes $5 billion to be spent during the next several years on investment in electric and other low-emission school buses that run on natural gas or propane. The legislation would make it possible for school districts across the country to buy about as many as 11,000 electric buses - not a huge dent in the estimated 480,000 buses rolling nationwide, but an appreciable number.
According to a White House statement issued after the Senate action in August:
"American school buses play a critical role in expanding access to education, but they are also a significant source of pollution. The legislation will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide, including in rural communities, helping school districts across the country buy clean, American-made, zero-emission buses, and replace the yellow school bus fleet for America's children."
The infrastructure legislation, besides cutting diesel air pollution linked to asthma, also is expected to drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, resulting in new jobs.
Biden, following the House vote, described the legislation as "a once-in-a-generation bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create millions of jobs, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21st Century."
A formal signing ceremony is expected soon, the president told reporters on Saturday.