Politics Schumer eyes infrastructure, tech as next priorities for Democrats
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Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) pointed to a massive infrastructure package and tech legislation as the next priorities for Democrats after they wrap up coronavirus relief.
Schumer, speaking to reporters after a Democratic caucus call, said that he had instructed committee chairs to start drafting legislation to "out-compete China," including investments in tech.
"Today on our caucus call, I directed the chairs and members of our relevant committees to start drafting a legislative package to out-compete China and create new American jobs," Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.
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Schumer, who pledged that the bill would be bipartisan, said it would touch on strengthening the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry and building out 5G.
In addition, Schumer is also turning his focus to what is likely to be the second bill that Democrats try to pass through reconciliation: Infrastructure.
"We need a strong stimulus to get our long-term economy going. ...We need a strong stimulus that creates and builds jobs and pumps up the economy for a long period of time. The Build Back Better Plan is something that I think we would turn to very soon after the American Rescue Plan is done," Schumer said.
Democrats are eyeing $3 trillion for the infrastructure package, which Schumer said also needed to include worker training and would need be "green"- a reference to climate proposals that are expected to be folded in.
President Biden has outlined a massive plan that would include infrastructure, manufacturing and combating climate change.
To pass the bill without using reconciliation-a budget tool that allows some legislation to bypass the legislative filibuster-they would need the votes of 60 Republicans.
But Schumer has long predicted that they would use the second reconciliation bill for infrastructure.
"We're looking at how we make Build Back Better, fit as much of it into reconciliation as we can, because we get two reconciliation motions. One for COVID and then one, probably, for Build Back Better," he said during an MSNBC interview last month.
Stimulus negotiations: Senate Democrats still finishing their Covid relief bill as time runs out this week .
Senate Democrats are down to the wire. © SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, speaks during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021 In a furious last-minute push, Democrats are scrambling to put their final touches on a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that the entire caucus will have to support, a task that has proven difficult in the final hours of negotiations and revealed the uphill climb the party will have in moving Biden's agenda in the future.