Politics Major infrastructure bill could get vote within days, Schumer says
Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag
Tempers are starting to flare on both sides of the aisle as bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on and negotiators face the prospect of missing an informal self-imposed deadline of Monday for getting a deal.Some Democrats are accusing Republicans of slow-walking the negotiations and reopening negotiating items that were believed to be solved.Republicans say Democrats are being unreasonable in some of their demands, such as an insistence on tens of billions of dollars in new funding for transit and broad authority for local governments to decide how to spend infrastructure funds.
A Senate vote on major infrastructure legislation could come “in a matter of days,” Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday.
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.
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.
President Biden has made infrastructure a top priority of his administration, saying repairs and upgrades are needed to create jobs and sustain the country’s role as a world leader.
From the start, Republicans balked at the price tag and argued that some of Biden’s proposals didn’t qualify as infrastructure. That prompted Democrats to take a two-pronged approach, with the pricier package to advance through special Senate rules.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (Luiz C. Ribeiro/)
Two negotiators of the $1 trillion bill echoed Schumer’s comments on Sunday.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) expected amendments to come under consideration that day.
“My hope is that we’ll finish the bill by the end of the week,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Schumer Says Infrastructure Deal Will Be Finalized Sunday After Rare Saturday Session
Senator Mark Warner said that a group of bipartisan negotiators were finalizing the "last couple pieces of legislative language."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 the Senate convened around at 11 a.m. Saturday to wait for the final text.
She predicted that the bill would get support from enough Republicans — at least 10 — to pass.
“This bill is good for America,” Collins said. “Every senator can look at bridges and roads and need for more broadband, waterways in their state, seaports and airports, and see the benefits — the very concrete benefits, no pun intended — of this legislation.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) predicted Sunday that the infrastructure package will have enough Republican votes to pass the chamber this week. (J. Scott Applewhite/)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) also said he expected the bill to enter the home stretch this week.
It includes $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transit and $66 billion for rail. There’s another $55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure, along with billions for ports, airports, broadband internet and electric vehicle charging stations.
With News Wire Services
Senate haggles over bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session .
The Senate reconvened in an unusual Sunday session to debate a $1.2 trillion infrastructure measure destined for bipartisan passage. © Provided by Washington Examiner A freshman Republican senator held up passing the measure on Saturday, arguing the GOP needed more time to consider the bill and debate amendments. Unless Sen. Bill Hagerty joins all lawmakers in agreeing to faster consideration, the measure may not pass until early in the week.