Senate approves nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure plans

On Friday, the Senate approved a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. A bipartisan group comprising senators helped it overcome one more hurdle. Now it is waiting to see if it can be sustained during the next few days.

Senate approves nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure plans

On Friday, the Senate approved a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. A bipartisan group comprising senators helped it overcome one more hurdle. Now it is waiting to see if it can be sustained during the next few days.

TheEditor
TheEditor
30 July 2021 Friday 15:03
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Senate approves nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure plans

Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated that the chamber should have the ability to quickly process the legislation given the bipartisan support.

Schumer stated that while we might need to wait for the weekend and vote on a few amendments, he believes we can complete the bipartisan infrastructure bill with the help of his Republican colleagues in just a matter days.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) predicted that it would be "a grind."

The process began in a chaotic manner on Friday. The Senate had just begun the procedural vote. It was quickly stopped. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) indicated that Republicans would need to view the entire text of the bill before they agree to move forward.

The vote was retaken and the bill was passed with 66 votes to 28.

This week, 17 GOP senators voted with all Democrats to begin the debate. It will launch a seven-day process to review the bill. This support was largely maintained Friday, with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky voting again yes to push the process forward.

However, the future will decide if President Joe Biden's signature issue is able to make it through the final hurdle. It will depend on whether or not the number of Republican senators are willing to pass the key component of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Cornyn stated that he expected Schumer to give all senators a chance to shape and accept amendments from both political parties.

Cornyn stated that she was disappointed that Senator Schumer tried to force us into voting on a bill which did not exist in its entirety. However, she expressed her hope that we could now take the brakes and evaluate the costs and benefits of the legislation.

Schumer was scheduled to present the bill's text later in the day. Supporters hoped to complete the action before the August recess. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), released statements stating that they were close finishing the legislative text and plan to make it available later in the day.

"When the final legislative text that reflects our group's product is completed, we will make it publicly together consistent with the bipartisan manner we've worked over the past four months," said the senators.

This bipartisan plan has $550 billion of new spending in five years, which is more than the usual highway and public works accounts. It is being funded from funding sources that might not be acceptable to deficit hawks. This includes repurposing COVID-19 relief assistance and relying upon projected future economic growth.

The major investments include $110 billion in roads and bridges, $39 Billion for public transit and $66 Billion for rail. $55 billion is allocated to water and wastewater infrastructure, as well as billions of dollars for ports, airports, broadband, and electric vehicle charging stations.

This will be the starting point for the next debate about Biden's $3.5 trillion spending plan. It is a strictly partisan pursuit to far-reaching programs, services, and programs including tax breaks, child care, and health care that touch nearly every corner of American society. Republicans are strongly opposed to the bill and would need a simple majority. They may attempt to block both.

A bipartisan group of senators, representatives, and other members of Congress gathered on the Capitol's opposite side to support the bipartisan, narrower infrastructure initiative and encourage Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, to allow a quick vote after the Senate passes it. Pelosi stated that there will not be a vote on the infrastructure bill unless the Senate passes the more ambitious package.

"I am not asking Speaker Pelosi to support the bill today. I want something more fundamental than that. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D. "Let us vote."

Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) also called for a separate vote on the bipartisan plan, because "that's the country wants."

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