Infrastructure Bill Set to be Voted Out of Senate This Week
The Senate is expected to advance a $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill this week after lawmakers spent the weekend finalizing the sprawling measure, which would fund roads, bridges and dams as well as broadband projects and climate resilience.
The Senate stayed in Washington for an unusual weekend session, as negotiators and legislative staff discussed last-minute changes to the 2,702-page bill. The process has been further complicated by a lack of trust between the two sides, as senior lawmakers and their staff work to help translate the deal reached by the White House and a group of bipartisan senators.
“I know it has been difficult, and I know it has been a long time,” said Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema and chief negotiator, speaking in the Senate just before 9 pm. “And what I’m proud to say is that is what our ancestors wanted.
The $ 1,000 billion legislation negotiators tabled on Sunday night would provide $ 550 billion in new federal funds to bolster the country’s aging public works system, in addition to the expected continuation of existing federal infrastructure programs.
Lawmakers claimed their legislation was paid for in full through a patchwork of funding arrangements that included reallocating pandemic relief funds and strengthening tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies. (In a speech in the Senate Sunday after 10 p.m., Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee raised questions about that assessment.)
The Senate agreed last week to take up the bill, although the text of the bill had not yet been finalized.
“We haven’t come up with a big bipartisan bill of this nature for a long time,” New York Democrat and Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer said in the Senate on Sunday as he prepared to unveil the bill. text. The legislation, he added, “is designed to update our infrastructure for a new century, and this is a significant achievement.”
Democratic leaders remain adamant that the Senate will vote on both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a $ 3.5 trillion budget plan before leaving Washington for a scheduled break in August. The budget measure aims to free up the caucus’ ability to adopt a broad economic agenda that will address climate change, health care and education. It is expected to pass with only Democratic votes, although top party moderates have signaled they may not support a final package of this size.
But the Senate cannot pass the budget plan until the chamber finishes work on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. This process is expected to extend into the week, as Mr Schumer has agreed to authorize further changes to the legislation. It is not known how many amendments there will be or what changes they might entail in the legislation.
“This bill is good for America,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and key negotiator, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “Every senator can look at bridges and roads and the need for more broadband, waterways in their states, seaports and airports, and see the benefits, the very tangible benefits, no pun intended, of this legislation. “
#Infrastructure #Bill #Set #Voted #Senate #Week