Senate grinds on with infrastructure bill votes as timing of final passage remains unclear

WASHINGTON — The Senate started voting Monday on amendments to the sweeping infrastructure deal, a day after negotiators released the text of a bill that will approve about $555 billion in new spending to overtake the nation’s roads, bridges, public transit and broadband techniques.

The Senate adopted two modest amendments: one by Sens. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., involving funding for Native American well being care services and one other by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., associated to the telecommunications workforce.

They have been the primary in what is anticipated to be a collection of votes earlier than last passage of the infrastructure deal, which moved ahead final week with the support of 67 senators, together with all Democratic-voting senators and 17 Republicans.

It’s unclear when the laws will get a last vote on passage, a course of that would drag by way of the week.

A building crane in entrance of the U.S. Capitol on Monday.Al Drago / Bloomberg through Getty Pictures

On Monday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who voted final week to advance the invoice, said he had tested positive for Covid-19. Graham, who’s totally vaccinated and mentioned he has “delicate signs,” mentioned he would quarantine for 10 days, leaving him unlikely to vote on the laws. (Breakthrough infections are extraordinarily uncommon, research present, and no different senator had introduced one at time of the Senate vote.)

The votes got here after dueling speeches by Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who sought to push senators ahead, and Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who mentioned there is no have to rush and referred to as for a “strong” modification course of.

Schumer, who controls the Senate schedule, mentioned lawmakers will not depart for a monthlong August recess till they end work on the infrastructure laws.

“The longer it takes to complete the invoice, the longer we’ll be right here,” he mentioned.

Schumer and McConnell voted to break a filibuster and begin debate on the bill final week. However at the same time as McConnell praised the laws, he and different Republican senators gave the impression to be in much less of a rush to complete the package deal.

“Our full consideration of this invoice should not be choked off by any synthetic timetable that our Democratic colleagues might have penciled out for political functions,” McConnell mentioned.

Schumer has mentioned the Senate will not adjourn for recess till it additionally adopts the funds decision to instruct committees to write down a multitrillion-dollar package deal for President Joe Biden’s tax will increase and expansions of the social security web. Democrats count on to move that with none Republican votes. | Senate grinds on with infrastructure invoice votes as timing of ultimate passage stays unclear


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