Work-in-progress U.S. infrastructure bill faces test on Senate floor


WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s goal of passing a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill faces a test Wednesday as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed by a scheduled vote, despite Republican appeals delaying.

Weeks after senators from both sides reached agreement on the outline of a bill -2021-06-24 to rebuild roads, bridges, ports and other infrastructure, Schumer sought to start the floor debate on the measure with a vote on a motion to proceed. . The vote is scheduled for mid-afternoon, and Schumer said on Wednesday that it would go ahead.



“We are now in the fourth week of negotiations since the bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement with the White House on an infrastructure framework,” Schumer told the Senate. “Senators should feel comfortable voting to move forward today.”

But Republicans who helped negotiate the bill say it is not ready, lacking the complete text, cost estimates and details on how to pay for it, which some Democrats say. that it’s a delaying tactic. Republicans have warned that if the vote goes ahead, they will vote “no” even if they support a broad infrastructure framework.

With the Senate split 50-50 by parties, the bipartisan measure needs the backing of at least 10 Republicans to win the 60 votes needed to advance under Senate rules.



A Democrat of the bipartisan group, Senator Jon Tester, said talks continued on Wednesday and could produce results by afternoon.

Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican member of the bipartisan group, said he believes 10 or 12 Republicans will vote to begin debate next week if all the outstanding issues are resolved. decide.

“(Yes) some work will be done today and tomorrow, but I think it will all be done early next week and we will have another vote I hope next week. arrival, and we will be able to process the payment. We have enough Republicans that you know 10 or 12 or more Republicans support the bill’s implementation,” Romney told reporters.

It is not clear what will happen if debate over the plan is blocked by Wednesday’s vote, although Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said that alone will not affect the effort. , because the Senate can then reconsider.



McConnell mocked Schumer’s attempt on Wednesday: “This stunt is about to fail.”

Some progressive Democrats worry that Republicans are deliberately prolonging the negotiations republicans-reject-irs-funds-2021-07-20 on a measure they ultimately won’t support.

“They’ve been killing time for months and at this point I believe it’s starting to get to the point where the bipartisan effort seems to serve less than investing in our infrastructure and serving more than just delaying action,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading Democratic progressive, told reporters.

Biden has deemed the bipartisan infrastructure bill necessary. However, he also wants Congress to pass a separate $3.5 trillion budget initiative that covers climate change and social spending provisions that are a dilemma for most Republicans.



Democrats want to push the larger measure through Congress along party lines as soon as the bipartisan bill is completed.

Congress is also preparing for speech on Wednesday when the US government is expected to run out of money to pay its bills, which will spark a new partisan battle over debt limits. all-times-it’s-messy-we-we-soon-to-be-debt-2021-07-21

Schumer said his attempt to kickstart debate on an unfinished bill was nothing out of the ordinary. Other Democrats said Schumer was simply trying to control the schedule after the bipartisan group spent weeks clearing out the details. (Additional reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone, Peter Cooney and Sonya Hepinstall)


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