After wrangling, the infrastructure bill nears the finish line in the Senate.
Senators spent a second consecutive weekend arguing over the details of a two-party $ 1 trillion infrastructure proposal, pushing back the planned summer recess. “We’re doing it the old fashioned way,” Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney told reporters on Sunday of the many days of debate.
Republicans joined Democrats on Saturday and Sunday in two procedural votes supporting the plan to finance repairs to roads, bridges, ports, etc. Last night, they passed the last hurdle before a final vote in the hemicycle, perhaps late Monday or Tuesday.
What is the hold-up? A dozen of proposed amendments were passed. Some senators want states to have more leeway on how to reallocate pandemic relief funds. Others are asking for more money for public transit, which has been allocated around $ 40 billion, less than originally planned. In a rare moment of unity, the chamber erupted into spontaneous applause when Ted Cruz, a staunchly conservative Republican from Texas, and Raphael Warnock, a progressive Democrat from Georgia, made a joint highway proposal that garnered unanimous support. .
But differences over how to regulate the cryptocurrency threatened to derail the process. Two competing crypto amendments have caused unexpected turmoil, with lawmakers advancing dueling changes to how the bill defines a “broker” in a provision intended to increase tax revenues from crypto transactions. There is no agreement on whether the amendments will be considered for inclusion before the final vote, with a 30-hour deadline set to expire in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
Former President Donald Trump threatened senators backing the infrastructure proposal, saying they would pay in the primaries. But few seem moved, and many see a chance to distance themselves from Mr. Trump. Minority leader Mitch McConnell said the legislation had “an excellent chance” of becoming “a bipartisan achievement for the country.” But Senator Todd Young, the Republican from Indiana who was part of the group that drafted the bill, said sunday that he would not vote to pass it because of concerns about its cost.
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