Politics Schumer Says Infrastructure Deal Will Be Finalized Sunday After Rare Saturday Session
Senate falling behind on infrastructure
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is falling behind on his plan to pass both a bipartisan infrastructure package and a budget resolution during the July work period after Republicans voted in unison Wednesday to block a motion to begin the infrastructure debate.Now the start of the Senate floor debate will be delayed another week as a bipartisan group of negotiators scramble to finish up work on a sprawling $1.2 trillion, eight- year spending plan. A group of centrist Republicans say they will be ready to vote next week to begin consideration of an infrastructure bill but they still have to hammer out final agreements on an array of outstanding issues.
Senate Majority Leaderhas announced that a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal will be finalized Sunday after lawmakers were unable to wrap up the legislation following a rare Saturday session.
Negotiations for the bill spilled over into the weekend after two senators predicted that the final text could be ready Friday. A bipartisan group of 22 lawmakers continued to work on the deal as theconvened around at 11 a.m. Saturday to wait for the final text.
Senate negotiators move to finalize details of infrastructure deal
A Democratic source close to the talks said Democratic senators and White House officials made a "global offer" to GOP negotiators Sunday.The group of senators involved in the talks are still negotiating several disputed items, including money for highways and bridges, water infrastructure, transit, broadband and using unspent COVID-19 pandemic relief money to pay for the infrastructure measure, according to the Democratic source. Also outstanding is a requirement that contractors and subcontractors working on federally funded contracts pay their workers no less than the "locally prevailing wages" for work on similar projects, the source said.
About 11 hours later, Schumer said the bill won't be ready until Sunday and instructed the senators to reconvene around noon.
"The bipartisan group of senators has still not finalized the legislative text of their substitute amendment. The staffs are still working and say they will have the final legislative text ready tomorrow," the New York Democrat said in the evening, adding that he's prepared to give the group "a little bit more time."
Schumer warned the lawmakers that he would keep them inuntil the bill is unveiled and a vote is held, despite a looming August recess. "The longer it takes to finish, the longer we will be here, but we're going to get the job done," he said.
Senator Mark Warner, a Democratic member of the bipartisan group, defended the delay in releasing the final paperwork Saturday, noting that lawmakers have been attempting to pass such a complicated piece of legislation for years.
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.
We're on the "last couple pieces of legislative language," he said. "There's been some of the sense of, well, infrastructure, that shouldn't be hard to do. If it wasn't hard to do, why has it taken 30 years to get to this moment?"
After a month of negotiations and delays, the Senate picked up its pace this week, voting 67-32 Wednesday to begin formal consideration of the bill. 17joined all 50 in support of advancing the measure.
Lawmakers announced earlier this week they had reached an agreement on the "major issues" of the legislation, which includes $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transport, $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, $55 billion for water infrastructure and $66 billion to expand broadband access.
The White House has estimated that the infrastructure plan would create about 2 million jobs a year on average over the next decade.
Major infrastructure bill could get vote within days, Schumer says
The Senate was holding a rare Sunday session to wrap up work on the $1 trillion package. Schumer opened by saying the bill text would be shared “imminently.” The legislation includes billions for highways, roads, broadband internet, water systems and other public works. Democrats want to follow up with an even bigger infrastructure bill — on the order of $3.5 trillion — in the coming weeks.Sunday’s push came after weeks of negotiations between the White House, Senate Democrats and Republicans.
Schumer said that the Senate will "turn to the budget resolution with reconciliation instructions" upon completion of the bipartisan deal.
Newsweek reached out to Schumer's office for further comment.
Senate infrastructure bill slowed in last lap by lone Republican .
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) said Saturday that he is "not inclined to expedite this process whatsoever."The vote, which was 67-27, easily cleared the 60 votes needed to move forward. It marked another significant step toward clinching a bipartisan agreement between Biden and Congress. Two Republicans who had previously voted against the bipartisan package — Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Deb Fischer of Nebraska — voted to advance the legislation.