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Politics Yes, Sick or Quarantined Senators Could Blow Up Infrastructure Vote

03:46  03 august  2021
03:46  03 august  2021 Source:   nymag.com

Infrastructure deal: Senate suddenly acts to take up bill

  Infrastructure deal: Senate suddenly acts to take up bill 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. 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.

As Washington prepared for a blizzard of motions and maneuvers in the Senate leading up to a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that has just been fully unveiled, news arrived that one of the purported Republican supporters of the deal, Lindsey Graham, has tested positive for COVID-19 (despite being fully vaccinated). He’s having flu-like symptoms, too, and will be in quarantine for ten days. It also transpires that Graham spent part of the weekend on Joe Manchin’s houseboat, and Manchin has tested negative so far. Centers for Disease Control guidelines do not require quarantines for fully vaccinated people possibly exposed to COVID-19 unless they test positive or show symptoms.

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 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.

Lindsey Graham wearing a suit and tie: Lindsay Graham, fully vaccinated but testing positive for COVID-19. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Lindsay Graham, fully vaccinated but testing positive for COVID-19. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

In the current environment there is no telling how many senators could wind up sick or quarantined as the Delta variant works its way through the unvaccinated (and to a lesser extent) the vaccinated. So it’s worth knowing that under the rules of the Senate, a cloture motion like the one that will be necessary to move to a final vote on the infrastructure bill requires 60 votes, period, not just three-fifths of those present and voting. This was an element of the compromise that made it possible to lower the cloture requirements from two-thirds of the Senate to three-fifths in 1975.

Yes, 67 votes were cast for cloture on the earlier motion to proceed to debate on the infrastructure bill in a July 28 test vote, but no one should be certain that the 17 Republicans who voted “aye” (including the wily Mitch McConnell) will be available to do the same as final passage approaches. For one thing, there will be votes on amendments that might have a bearing on support (ostensible or legitimate) for the underlying bill.

It’s a different situation with that other must-pass piece of business before the Senate takes its planned August recess: the Fiscal Year 2022 budget resolution, which is required to set up a later vote on a FY 2022 budget reconciliation bill. Such a motion requires just a majority of senators present and voting. But in the long and and ever-changing debate over the enactment of an infrastructure bill, the pandemic might yet have the last word.

It's now Pelosi's move on bipartisan roads bill .
The Senate's approval of a massive infrastructure bill on Tuesday sends the proposal to the House - and confronts Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with some tricky questions over how to proceed.Already, Pelosi is facing competing pressure from moderate Democrats, who want a quick vote to notch a big bipartisan win, and liberals, who want to sit on the bill until the Senate passes an even larger social benefits package, a tactic that Pelosi has enthusiastically endorsed. House leaders took the unexpected step Tuesday of cutting their seven-week recess short, with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.

usr: 0
This is interesting!