Politics Mark Warner Says Infrastructure Deal Could Be Ready Monday as Senators Push to Finalize It
Infrastructure push on rocky ground as key Senate test vote looms
It could all come together, or it could all fall apart. © Alex Wong/Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens during a news briefing after a Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol July 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Those are the stakes for President Joe Biden's infrastructure agenda as it faces a critical week in the Senate that could prove to be a make-or-break moment for both a bipartisan deal and a broader package to expand the social safety net that Democrats intend to move on a party-line vote.
Senator Mark Warner said Sunday that he believes the bipartisan infrastructure deal will be ready Monday afternoon as lawmakers pushed to reach an agreement to advance the bill in a vote before the August recess.
The Virginia Democrat, part of the bipartisan group of 22 senators working with the White House to negotiate a framework for the bill, told Fox News Sunday that the group is "down to the last couple of items." Asked whether lawmakers could have the bill finalized by Monday, Warner said, "I believe we will."
If Biden Burns AOC on $4 Trillion Deal, He’ll Pay the Price
After four years of jokes that weren’t funny, it may finally be Infrastructure Week in America as Democrats race to move two major pieces of legislation: a $579 billion bipartisan plan to repair the nation’s ailing roads, bridges and energy infrastructure, and a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget plan that Senate Democrats plan to pass on a party-line vote. But while Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have focused on solidifying GOP support for the smaller, bipartisan bill, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is vowing to torpedo Biden’s big package if progressive spending priorities are left out.
After months of negotiation, the bill failed to advance in a 49-51 procedural vote on thefloor Wednesday. Senate uniformly voted to block the measure, refusing to approve a package that had not yet been finalized after lawmakers in the party pushed back against the "arbitrary deadline" set by Senate Majority Leader .
Schumer said he forced the procedural vote to allow lawmakers enough time to debate parts of the deal that the group had already agreed to.
Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, toldSunday that the group was "about 90 percent of the way" to a deal, adding that negotiators have yet to come to an agreement on the amount of funding for public transit.
Biden on bipartisan infrastructure deal: 'I think it's going to get done'
President Biden on Wednesday expressed certainty a bipartisan infrastructure deal will get done, starting with a vote to move forward on debate next Monday."I think it's going to get done," Biden said at a CNN town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. "You may find amendments that take place on the detail of whether or not-and I'm the guy who wrote this bill to begin with. And so I've had to compromise to make changes in the bill."Republicans earlier"I think it's going to get done," Biden said at a CNN town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. "You may find amendments that take place on the detail of whether or not-and I'm the guy who wrote this bill to begin with. And so I've had to compromise to make changes in the bill.
"We have one issue outstanding and we're not getting much response from theon it. It's about mass transit. Our transit number is very generous," Portman said. "I feel good about getting that done this week."
Last week, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said Republicans refused an offer to split the difference. "They have not been serious about transit dollars," he said.
House Speakersaid Sunday that Democrats are "rooting" for the passage of the bill, but maintained her position that the House won't vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package without a larger, Democratic plan.
"I won't put it on the floor until we have the rest of the initiative," she said on ABC's This Week. "We all know that more needs to be done."
Republicans strongly opposed linking the Democratic-only package and the bipartisan plan, forcing Presidentto reverse on a threat that he won't sign the deal if the two bills aren't paired. "The bottom line is this: I gave my word to support the Infrastructure Plan, and that's what I intend to do," he said in late June.
Bipartisan infrastructure deal enters critical week in Congress with major sticking points unresolved
The much-deliberated bipartisan infrastructure bill is entering a critical week on Capitol Hill with lawmakers projecting optimism ahead of a possible procedural vote this week, potentially on Monday. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images The U.S. Capitol building is closed to the public this year during Independence Day celebrations on July 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. But a weekend of talks had yet to produce an agreement as of late Sunday, while major sticking points remained, per three sources familiar with the matter. The 10 main negotiators are planning to meet Monday to put deliberations back on track.
Portman condemned Pelosi's comments as "inconsistent with the agreement we have on a bipartisan basis," warning that Republicans would walk away from the deal altogether if Pelosi "has her way."
The group is aiming to pass the measure before the scheduled August recess, a self-imposed deadline.
Newsweek reached out to Schumer's office for comment.
5 Reasons Biden Got His Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal .
Mitch McConnell is poised to hand the president a big win. Here’s why.Biden had campaigned on his (putative) gifts for brokering compromise. But savvy observers knew that the candidate was singing paeans to a long-dead deity: The God of Bipartisanship had forsaken Congress shortly after Barack Obama took office. As the ideological gap between the parties widened, the scope for common cause narrowed. Meanwhile, McConnell had discerned that the voting public blames the president’s party for government dysfunction, even if that dysfunction emanates from the opposition.