The important thing Senate vote advances Biden’s infrastructure invoice of US $ 1 thousand

Washington – The Senate moved closer to passing a $ 1 trillion infrastructure package Saturday after lawmakers from both parties came together and voted to overcome a major procedural hurdle. More votes are required before the Senate approves any of President Joe Biden’s top priorities.

The move would provide a massive federal cash injection to a range of public works programs, from roads and bridges to broadband internet access, drinking water, and others. In a rare blow of bipartisanship, Republicans joined the Democrats during the weekend session to break the 60-vote threshold required to move the move towards the final votes. The vote was 67 to 27.

If the bill is approved, it goes to the House of Representatives.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the first of Biden’s two infrastructure packages. Government and Congress leaders will soon be turning to a second, larger package that is expected to receive only Democratic support.

After Saturday’s key vote, the bipartisan plan could be passed quickly or dragged on for days as opponents try to slow it down.

“We can do this the easy way,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., at the Senate opening. He said he would keep the senators in session until they finalize the bill and send it to the House of Representatives.

Vice President Kamala Harris met on Capitol Hill to discuss what Biden said was a potentially “historic investment” equivalent to building the transcontinental railroad or interstate highway system.

Overcoming the 60-vote barrier was a sign that the weak alliance between Republicans and Democrats was able to hold on to the public building package. At least 10 Republicans had to join all of the Democrats in order to get the measure past a filibuster and establish more votes later.

Senate Republican Chairman Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has so far allowed the law to move forward, and its vote – “yes” – has been closely watched. “It’s a compromise,” he said before the vote.

For senators tormented by debates – and months of give-and-take negotiations – the bill is an opportunity not only to send federal dollars to their states, but also to show the country that Congress can work together across parties, to solve problems.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the need in her state was evident – including money for water systems in remote villages without running hand-washing taps during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a negotiator, she also wants to show that the legislature can agree.

“I’m really concerned that everyone believes we are as dysfunctional as we seem to be, and so proving otherwise is important,” she said. “The Senate needs some demonstrated acts of bipartisanism.”

Congress is under pressure to move forward on the president’s infrastructure priorities – first with the bipartisan bill and then with the Democrats’ larger $ 3.5 trillion budget plan to shoulder on their own.

When the Senators finish work on the bipartisan bill, they will immediately move on to the much more partisan move on Biden’s agenda, the $ 3.5 trillion bill. This plan would allocate billions in what the White House calls human infrastructure – childcare, home health care, education, and other expenses that are democratic priorities that Republicans have promised to reject. The debate on this will drag on into autumn.

For some Republicans, this sequential voting plan is what they’re trying to delay in hopes of slowing or stopping the Democrats’ apparent advance in achieving the president’s infrastructure goals.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Arrives as the Senate convenes in the Washington Capitol on Saturday, August 7, 2021 for a rare weekend session on the $ 1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Former President Donald Trump weighed in on Saturday with a statement criticizing Biden, senators from both parties, and the bill itself, though it’s not clear whether Trump’s views affect lawmakers.

Senators enjoy the bill a lot, even if it doesn’t entirely satisfy liberals who think it’s too small or conservatives who think it’s too big. It would provide federal funding for projects that many states and cities could not afford on their own.

Senators had hoped to pass the 2,700-page bill later this week. But the Senate stalled at the end of the week with new problems as members considered further amendments and Republican opponents opposed to speeding up the process.

Analysis of the Congressional Budget Office bill raised concerns, particularly among Republicans. It concluded that the legislation would increase the deficit by about $ 256 billion over the next decade.

Proponents of the bill argued, however, that the Budget Office could not consider certain sources of income, including from future economic growth. Additional analysis released by the Budget Office on Saturday suggested that overall infrastructure spending could increase productivity and lower final costs.

Paying the package was a pressure point during months of negotiations after Democrats protested an increase in gas tax paid at the pump and Republicans opposed a plan to assist the IRS to investigate tax violations.

Unlike Biden’s larger $ 3.5 trillion package, which would be paid for through higher corporate and wealthy tax rates, the bipartisan package is funded through reallocation of other funds, including untapped COVID-19 aid, and other spending cuts and revenue streams .

Senators processed nearly two dozen amendments to the bipartisan package in the past week, and more are possible on Saturday. So far, no one has significantly changed the framework of the public work package.

The house is on hiatus and is expected to consider both of Biden’s infrastructure packages when it returns in September.

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