The Senate will pass a bipartisan $ 1 trillion infrastructure plan on Tuesday, a big step for Democrats trying to get President Joe Biden’s comprehensive economic agenda through Congress.
The legislation, which includes $ 550 billion in new funding for transport, broadband and utilities, is expected to get through with the votes of Democrats and Republicans. Once passed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. plans to pass a budget resolution that would allow Democrats to pass what they consider to be a $ 3.5 trillion spending plan without Republican votes .
“After all the long, tough negotiations, the stops and starts, we’re here and it’s a good thing, a very good thing for America,” said Schumer on Monday evening before the final vote.
The chamber is expected to vote on passing the bill around 11 a.m. ET.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has stressed that she will not take up the infrastructure bill or the Democrats’ separate proposal to expand the social safety net until the Senate passes both of them. The house will not return from recess until September 20th.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Saturday, March 6, 2021.
Ting Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The passage of the bill will cap a month-long slog for the White House and both parties in Congress to forge a plan to renew America’s roads, railways, public transportation, water systems, power grids and broadband. For years, Congress has been unable to agree on a comprehensive infrastructure plan that supporters of both parties say will boost the economy and create jobs.
“It’s a long-term expense to repair, replace, and build assets that will last for decades. It makes people’s lives better, ”said Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican and the leading GOP negotiator for the bill.
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The Democrats’ drive to get their economic agenda off the ground may still fail. The infrastructure bill alone seems to have enough Democratic and Republican support to pull through the house.
But to win over centrists suspicious of a $ 3.5 trillion bill as well as progressives who want extra spending on childcare, paid vacation, and climate policy, Pelosi has said they can’t go without the one law the other will say goodbye. To get their plan approved through a republican-free budget balance, Democrats cannot lose a single member of their 50-member Senate committee or more than a handful of representatives.
The Senate will next vote on a budget resolution in the coming days to initiate the reconciliation process. Schumer said on Monday that the chamber would vote “immediately” on the continuation of the budget measure after the infrastructure law was concluded.
He expects to start a so-called Vote-a-rama “shortly thereafter”, in which the Senate will consider an indefinite number of amendments to the resolution. The chamber plans to take its own break after the budget measure has been adopted.
Schumer has given the committees a target for September 15 to finalize their pieces of final legislation. The bill would then have to go through both houses of Congress.
Centrists, including Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.V., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Have signaled that they will vote for the budget decision but will seek to approve the $ 3.5 trillion proposal shorten. Republicans have started pounding Democrats for the proposed spending and individual tax hikes they hope to make up for.
Biden and the Democrats want a signature policy that they can promote along the way of the mid-term campaign next year as they try to hold both houses of Congress. Their plan includes extending household tax credits and health grants granted during the coronavirus pandemic, lowering the Medicare eligibility age and expanding benefits, and using tax credits, rebates and polluter fees to encourage green energy adoption.
The bipartisan bill is the first step. Among other things, $ 110 billion in roads, bridges, and other major projects, $ 66 billion in passenger and freight, $ 65 billion in broadband, $ 55 billion in water systems, and $ 39 billion in invested in local public transport.
The Biden government has pushed for a quick pass.
“My department is ready as soon as this law becomes law to begin delivering these resources and distributing them to the communities,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNBC’s The News With Shepard Smith on Monday.
The bill will be funded, among other things, from reused coronavirus aid money, unused federal unemployment insurance aid and frequency auctions. Republicans opposed Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to offset costs.
While senators have said the bill will be paid, the bipartisan Congressional budget bureau estimated Thursday that it would add $ 256 billion to the budget deficit over a decade. The report did not include the potential increase in sales from economic growth.
This story evolves. Please check again for updates.
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