•   
  •   
  •   

Politics A Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Moves Forward in the Senate

16:32  29 july  2021
16:32  29 july  2021 Source:   nymag.com

If Biden Burns AOC on $4 Trillion Deal, He’ll Pay the Price

  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.

Last week, when a procedural vote on an unfinished infrastructure package failed in the Senate, negotiators claimed that they just needed a bit more time to work out the details – a familiar refrain when it comes to infrastructure. But on Wednesday, they made good on their promise: hours after multiple reports emerged of a deal on a bipartisan infrastructure package, the Senate voted 67 to 32 to advance the bill to a final vote as early as this week.

Congress is still hoping to begin an August Recess soon. Samuel Corum/Getty Images © Samuel Corum/Getty Images Congress is still hoping to begin an August Recess soon. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The motion to advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill has been in the works since an event in late June at the Rose Garden, where President Biden appeared with 10 senators from each party to endorse their plan. With the motion to advance on Wednesday, an additional seven Senate Republicans voted with the group of 10 from the Rose Garden and all 50 Democrats to pass a motion to proceed to a debate and final vote on the package.

Dems are 'not particularly pleased' with the Senate infrastructure deal. They'll back it anyway.

  Dems are 'not particularly pleased' with the Senate infrastructure deal. They'll back it anyway. The party seems content to enter the home stretch of the infrastructure drama united — and leave Republicans split.Those are Democratic senators' scintillating reviews for a plan billed as a major goal of President Joe Biden. As negotiators rush to finish their package by Monday, they're signaling they’ll go along with it, even if it’s through gritted teeth.

The deal, which had nearly fallen apart at several points in the process, has apparently resolved disputes over the shares of transportation money going to public transit and highways; revenue offsets to make up for the IRS enforcement provisions Republican vetoed; and a variety of details left out of the earlier handshake agreement. One sticky subject, involving Republicans’ rejection of a requirement that “prevailing [i.e., union] wages” be paid on construction projects, led to the negotiators dropping a $29 billion infrastructure bank provision. So the new funding in the package will drop from the original $579 billion to $550 billion.

The agreement arrived just in time to push a second motion-to-proceed measure offered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer past the threshold of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, paving the way for full Senate approval by week’s end, or so Politico reports:

Bipartisan infrastructure deal enters critical week in Congress with major sticking points unresolved

  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.

As of Wednesday afternoon, nine Senate Republicans involved in the talks said they would move forward and two, Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), said they had not decided. When asked if the bipartisan framework will get the necessary 10 Senate Republican votes, Senate Minority Whip John Thune replied: “I think so.”

Once the count got past 60, other Republican senators climbed on board in order to share the credit for a rare bipartisan step forward, though some may back away when the actual bill comes to the floor.

Though there may be some grumbling among progressives about the compromises involved in the package and its relationship to the budget legislation up next in the Senate, Schumer is expected to deliver all 50 Democrats to get the infrastructure bill over the necessary procedural hurdles.

But one ominous note was struck by Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema, the chief Democratic negotiator on the infrastructure package, in an interview with the Arizona Republic:

A Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Moves Forward in the Senate

  A Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Moves Forward in the Senate There may trouble down the road with centrist Dems complaining about the bill’s size, but a motion to advance it to a final debate passed 67 to 32.The motion to advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill has been in the works since an event in late June at the Rose Garden, where President Biden appeared with 10 senators from each party to endorse their plan. With the motion to advance on Wednesday, an additional seven Senate Republicans were convinced to vote with the group of 10 from the Rose Garden and all 50 Democrats to pass a motion to proceed to a debate and final vote on the package.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema does not support Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan that aims to deliver major components of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda that Democrats hope to pass after moving a separate bipartisan infrastructure deal that Sinema negotiated.

Sinema, D-Ariz., told The Arizona Republic on Wednesday she had reviewed the Senate Budget Committee’s spending framework and has told Senate leadership and Biden that she supports many of its goals, including job growth and American competitiveness.

“I have also made clear that while I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion — and in the coming months, I will work in good faith to develop this legislation with my colleagues and the administration to strengthen Arizona’s economy and help Arizona’s everyday families get ahead,” Sinema said in a written statement.

This confirms earlier indications that she and her centrist sidekick Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia will insist on bringing the budget’s price tag down before allowing the reconciliation bill — which incorporates very large chunks of Joe Biden’s 2021 agenda — to pass. But Sinema’s proviso that “I will support beginning this process” and her reference to negotiations over “the coming months” suggests she will vote for the FY 2022 budget resolution that authorizes the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. That is probably a condition precedent to House passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that is likely to become her signature achievement for years to come, and also a development that Congress will have to take care of before embarking on a planned August recess. So any penny-pinching by Sinema and Manchin will occur down the road, and anticipatory complaints by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others about centrist perfidy may just be warnings not to let the gamesmanship get out of control.

Daily on Energy: Infrastructure nuclear aid too late for Illinois’ at-risk plants .
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Default Image - July 2021 TIME IS TIGHT FOR ILLINOIS NUCLEAR PLANTS: The bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill, officially out last night, strives to save economically struggling nuclear plants from closing, but it’s very likely too late for a pair of plants in Illinois at greatest risk.

usr: 0
This is interesting!