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Politics Infrastructure deal: Senate suddenly acts to take up bill

11:18  29 july  2021
11:18  29 july  2021 Source:   msn.com

Infrastructure push on rocky ground as key Senate test vote looms

  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.

White House and senators cement a trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal . Democrats set a test vote on the agreement, which took weeks of negotiations, for Wednesday evening. Some Senate Democrats, including at least one key committee chairman, said they were still reviewing the plan before deciding whether to support it. But Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, said he believed “we have the votes.” If they do, Democrats would still have to maneuver the bill through the evenly divided Senate over a Republican filibuster, which will require the support of all 50 Democrats

“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function,” Biden said in a statement. “We will once again transform America and propel us into the future.” Lead GOP negotiator Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced the deal earlier at the Capitol, flanked by four other Republican senators who have been in talks Republicans strongly oppose that bill , and may try to stop both. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened the Senate on Wednesday announcing a possible evening test vote, nudging talks along. It would require 60 votes in the evenly split 50-50 Senate to proceed for consideration

The bipartisan group of Senate negotiators speak to reporters just after a vote to start work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. From left are Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press The bipartisan group of Senate negotiators speak to reporters just after a vote to start work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. From left are Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to begin work on a nearly $1 trillion national infrastructure plan, acting with sudden speed after weeks of fits and starts once the White House and a bipartisan group of senators agreed on major provisions of the package that’s key to President Joe Biden’s agenda.

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  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.

Republicans blocked the Senate from moving ahead with the plan last week, saying that too many issues remained unresolved. Mr. Portman’s comments and those of other Republicans in the group, who spoke after meeting Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, suggested that they had cleared away the biggest Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has said she will not take up the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the House until that second package — expected to pour billions into programs to address climate change, health care, child care and education — passes the Senate .

“Hard to believe our Senate Republicans are dealing with the Radical Left Democrats in making a so-called bipartisan bill on ‘ infrastructure ,’ with our negotiators headed up by SUPER RINO Mitt Romney,” raged the 45th president in an emailed statement. “This will be a victory for the Biden Former President Trump spoke out against the infrastructure package that the Senate voted to begin debating. Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images. Earlier Wednesday, bipartisan negotiators announced they had reached agreement among themselves and with the White House on the key points of the

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, is met by reporters during the vote to start work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, is met by reporters during the vote to start work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Biden welcomed the accord as one that would show America can “do big things." It includes the most significant long-term investments in nearly a century, he said, on par with building the transcontinental railroad or the Interstate highway system.

President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Lehigh Valley operations facility for Mack Trucks in Macungie, Pa., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Lehigh Valley operations facility for Mack Trucks in Macungie, Pa., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

"This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function,” Biden said ahead of the vote Wednesday night. “We will once again transform America and propel us into the future.”

Senate votes to start debate on $1.1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal

  Senate votes to start debate on $1.1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal The Senate voted in favor of beginning debate on a bipartisan infrastructure deal that would provide funding for core items like roads, bridges, waterways and broadband. Negotiators announced earlier in the day that they had reached a deal on the major aspects of plan. Shortly after news broke that a deal had been reached, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he would hold the test vote on the bill Wednesday, a critical first step to its passage.

The US Senate voted to advance a historic, trillion-dollar infrastructure package late Wednesday, a breakthrough after weeks of often-bitter negotiations on a bill that President Joe Biden said could "transform America." The deal , if passed by Congress and signed into law, would pump historic © Nicholas Kamm US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said "we are going to get the job done," after the Senate voted to advance a massive, bipartisan infrastructure measure that is a key plank in President Joe Biden's domestic agenda. The legislation's language has yet to be written, but because

The Senate will convene at 10:30 AM tomorrow. Following the conclusion of Morning Business, the Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to H.R. 3684 (the legislative vehicle for the bipartisan infrastructure bill ), post-cloture. As noted earlier, a core group led by Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Democratic Senator If the Senate is able to pass the bill in the coming days, Democrats hope to quickly pivot to passing a budget for fiscal 2022 which would set up a fast-track process to enact much of the rest of Biden’s economic agenda without any Republican support.

After weeks of stop-and-go negotiations, the rare bipartisan showing on a 67-32 vote to start formal Senate consideration showed the high interest among senators in the infrastructure package. But it’s unclear if enough Republicans will eventually join Democrats to support final passage.

Senate rules require 60 votes in the evenly split 50-50 chamber to proceed for consideration and ultimately pass this bill, meaning support from both parties.

The outcome will set the stage for the next debate over Biden’s much more ambitious $3.5 trillion spending package, a strictly partisan pursuit of far-reaching programs and services including child care, tax breaks and health care that touch almost every corner of American life. Republicans strongly oppose that bill, which would require a simple majority, and may try to stop both.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the lead GOP negotiator on the infrastructure talks, talks to reporters as he announces a $1 trillion infrastructure agreement with Democrats and is ready to vote to take up the bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the lead GOP negotiator on the infrastructure talks, talks to reporters as he announces a $1 trillion infrastructure agreement with Democrats and is ready to vote to take up the bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Lead GOP negotiator Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced the bipartisan group’s agreement on the $1 trillion package earlier Wednesday at the Capitol, flanked by four other Republican senators who had been in talks with Democrats and the White House.

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  What is Biden talking about? Democrats have expanded the meaning of infrastructure to cover their entire policy wish list.Jesus preached about the wise man and the foolish man who built houses. Both houses were buffeted by storms or floods. The difference: The wise man “dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock” while the foolish man “built his house on the sand.” The house built on stone stood strong, and the one built on a foundation of sand collapsed.

Republican senators involved in negotiations over a bipartisan infrastructure spending bill announced they had reached a deal with Democrats and the White House. WASHINGTON — A major infrastructure package passed a key test vote Wednesday in the Senate , just hours after a bipartisan working group announced a deal after more than a month of negotiating. The Senate voted 67-32 to begin debate on the measure, getting 17 Republicans to sign on, more than the 10 needed to break a filibuster.

The infrastructure deal itself marks a fuller accounting of a blueprint Senate negotiators first outlined in June. It essentially touches the whole of the U.S. economy, calling for roughly trillion in spending — over half of which is new, with the rest coming from anticipated federal investments in highways and other The developments Wednesday keep the Senate on track to debate and potentially pass the infrastructure bill in the brief window before they depart for their planned August recess. Schumer announced the timeline earlier this summer, and in recent days, he had threatened to keep lawmakers

After voting, Portman said the outcome showed that bipartisanship in Washington can work and he believed GOP support would only grow. “That’s pretty darn good for a start,” he said.

That group had labored with the White House to salvage the deal, a first part of Biden’s big infrastructure agenda. Swelling to more than 700 pages, the bill includes $550 billion in new spending for public works projects.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., right, are seated together during a luncheon with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Senate Republicans have reached a deal with Democrats over major outstanding issues in a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and say they are ready to vote to take up the bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., right, are seated together during a luncheon with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Senate Republicans have reached a deal with Democrats over major outstanding issues in a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and say they are ready to vote to take up the bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In all, 17 Republican senators joined the Democrats in voting to launch the debate, but most remained skeptical. The GOP senators were given a thick binder of briefing materials during a private lunch, but they asked many questions and wanted more details.

Senators reveal bill text and introduce $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal after rare weekend session

  Senators reveal bill text and introduce $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal after rare weekend session It's no longer a framework: senators on Sunday evening revealed and officially introduced legislative text for a bipartisan infrastructure deal crafted after months of negotiations among a bipartisan group of lawmakers. © Provided by Washington Examiner "This legislation represents the most significant investment in our infrastructure since the construction of the Interstate Highway System," Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said on the Senate floor on Sunday. Finalized during a rare weekend session, the legislation, which is called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, clocks in at 2,702 pages.

According to a 57-page GOP summary obtained by The Associated Press, the five-year spending package would be paid for by tapping $205 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief aid and $53 billion in unemployment insurance aid some states have halted. It also relies on economic growth to bring in $56 billion, and other measures.

Giving Wednesday night's vote a boost, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell announced late in the day he would vote to proceed, though whether he will support the final bill remains uncertain. The Republican negotiators met with McConnell earlier Wednesday and Portman said the leader “all along has been encouraging our efforts.”


Video: Senate advances bipartisan infrastructure deal (Associated Press)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a lead Democratic negotiator who talks often with Republicans also spoke with Biden on Wednesday and said the she hoped the results showed “our government can work."

President Joe Biden holds a mask as he responds to a question as he arrives at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pa., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Biden is in the area to visit the Lehigh Valley operations facility for Mack Trucks and advocate for government investments and clean energy as ways to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden holds a mask as he responds to a question as he arrives at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pa., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Biden is in the area to visit the Lehigh Valley operations facility for Mack Trucks and advocate for government investments and clean energy as ways to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Democrats, who have slim control of the House and Senate, face a timeline to act on what would be some of the most substantial pieces of legislation in years.

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  House moderates may oppose budget without infrastructure vote Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to link the Senate’s $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure plan to a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package is starting to backfire, as moderate Democrats warn they may not vote for a budget resolution needed to begin the reconciliation process unless it’s paired with a vote on the Senate bill. Rep. Ed Case […] The post House moderates may oppose budget without infrastructure vote appeared first on Roll Call.

Filling in the details has become a month-long exercise ever since a bipartisan group of senators struck an agreement with Biden in June over the broad framework.

The new spending in the package dropped from about $600 billion to $550 billion, senators said, as money was eliminated for a public-private infrastructure bank and was reduced in other categories, including transit.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., leaves, after a closed door talks about infrastructure on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, July 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana): Congress Infrastructure © Provided by Associated Press Congress Infrastructure

The package still includes $110 billion for highways, $65 billion for broadband and $73 billion to modernize the nation's electric grid, according a White House fact sheet.

Additionally, there's $25 billion for airports, $55 billion for waterworks and more than $50 billion to bolster infrastructure against cyberattacks and climate change. There's also $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the lead GOP negotiator in the infrastructure talks, is joined by, from left, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, as he announces an agreement with Democrats on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, saying they are ready to vote to take up the bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the lead GOP negotiator in the infrastructure talks, is joined by, from left, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, as he announces an agreement with Democrats on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, saying they are ready to vote to take up the bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Paying for the package has been a slog throughout the talks after Democrats rejected a plan to bring in funds by hiking the gas tax drivers pay at the pump and Republicans dashed an effort to boost the IRS to go after tax scofflaws.

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Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, left, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, smile as they emerge from the office of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to announce agreement with Democrats on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and are ready to vote to take up the bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, left, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, smile as they emerge from the office of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to announce agreement with Democrats on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and are ready to vote to take up the bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Along with repurposing the COVID-19 relief and unemployment aid, other revenue would come from the sale of broadcast spectrum, reinstating fees that chemical companies used to pay for cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites and drawing $49 billion from reversing a Trump-era pharmaceutical rebate, among other sources.

The final deal could run into political trouble if it doesn’t pass muster as fully paid for when the Congressional Budget Office assesses the details. But Portman said the package will be “more than paid for.”

House Democrats have their own transportation bill, which includes much more spending to address rail transit, electric vehicles and other strategies to counter climate change.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not commit to supporting the package until she sees the details, but said Wednesday she's “rooting for it.”

Pelosi said, “I very much want it to pass.”

A recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC found 8 in 10 Americans favor some increased infrastructure spending.

Senators in the bipartisan group have been huddling privately for months. The group includes 10 core negotiators, split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, but has swelled at times to 22.

Transit funding has remained a stubborn dispute, as most Republican senators come from rural states where highways dominate and public transit is scarce, while Democrats view transit as a priority for cities and a key to easing congesting and fighting climate change.

Expanding access to broadband. which has become ever more vital for households during the coronavirus pandemic, sparked a new debate. Republicans pushed back against imposing regulations on internet service providers in a program that helps low-income people pay for service.

Meanwhile, Democrats are readying the broader $3.5 trillion package that is being considered under budget rules that allow passage with 51 senators in the split Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris able to break a tie. It would be paid for by increasing the corporate tax rate and the tax rate on Americans earning more than $400,000 a year.

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Josh Boak in Washington and Tali Arbel in New York contributed to this report.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill gives taxpayers a good bang for their buck .
The bipartisan infrastructure bill makes a transformative investment in the foundation of our economy and the future of American infrastructure.One of the reasons infrastructure projects cost significantly more in the United States than similar ones in other countries is our byzantine permitting process. The bill directs permitting agencies to cut average approval times to less than two years for major projects and includes several provisions to help make that happen without sacrificing important social and environmental protections.

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