Schumer Says Senate Has Reached Agreement on Infrastructure Bill, Announces Vote Date
© REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNSTU.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) departs the Senate at lunchtime, after morning remarks on the a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. August 9, 2021.
© REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST
Earlier in the day, Senate Democrats unveiled a path that would pave the way for a larger infrastructure bill, envisaging $3.5 trillion in spending, to be passed by the middle of September. The infrastructure bill has been a stumbling block for the two parties, with Democrats stating that it is vital and Republicans arguing it's too expensive.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced late Monday that the Senate has managed to reach a final consensus on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, revealing that the chamber will proceed to a vote on Tuesday.
"In a few minutes, I will announce that we have come to an agreement for final passage of the bipartisan infrastructure proposal," Schumer revealed when speaking on the Senate floor on Monday night. "This will do a whole lot of good for America."
The bill, which has been subject to weeks of debate between lawmakers, has two tracks, with one including spending on roads, railways, bridges, and internet access and being among the Biden administration's top priorities.
After the Tuesday vote, Democrats are expected to move on with debate on far more ambitious legislation that envisages $3.5 trillion in spending on clean energy, tackling climate change, providing a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and other key issues.
With Democrats pushing the $3.5 trillion bill and enjoying support from some Republicans on the $1 trillion proposition, some GOP lawmakers feel less enthusiastic about the second legislation, opposing its size and cost. Some Democratic lawmakers, such as Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, echoed concerns about the massive bill possibly hitting the debt ceiling - which is not expected to be increased.
Despite that, Democrats appear to have offered a path for the $3.5 trillion bill to be unilaterally passed by the middle of September, without being too concerned about opposition voiced by Republicans.
The Senate must approve the $1 trillion bill in order to hand it over to the House of Representatives for debate and a vote, with the House currently on summer recess.