Senate Republicans refused an effort on Wednesday to start debate on a bipartisan infrastructure deal supported by President Biden, saying that the vote was too early and that the measure was not yet complete.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled the vote in an effort to start debate on the program, but after filing cloture this Monday, Republicans went against it on the issue of the deal having not been put into text and that lawmakers were still working on how the plan would get financed. The bill failed with a vote of 49-51, with Schumer voting no so that he can return to the issue in the coming days.
But the deal, which is anticipated to cost nearly $1.2 trillion over five years, is not at all gone, since many Republicans objected on grounds of procedure instead of the bill itself. Several people involved in the bipartisan negotiations originally asked Schumer to postpone the vote until Monday, when the deal is thought to be finalized, and even though the measured failed to advance it could be voted on again.
“Today we are not going to move forward, but we can on Monday,” Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, who has took lead in the talks, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who was also involved in the so-called bipartisan discussions, informed reporters that the bill is getting close to completion and its issues might be fixed as soon as Wednesday, allowing it to be voted on next week.
Republicans working on the bill also informed reporters this Wednesday that at least 11 inside their caucus were preparing to vote to advance the bill, and said that their opposition was because “we are not ready.”
The bill centers around physical infrastructure such as bridges, roads, and waterways, and was the end result of negotiations between Senate Dems, Republicans and President Biden. If it succeeds in the Senate it will go to the House, where both GOP members and progressive Dems have opposed it.
Democrats want to use budget reconciliation to push their “human infrastructure” bill with party lines in the next few weeks. That proposal, equaling around $3.5 trillion, would create billions toward renewable energy and other liberal agendas, and has come under unified opposition from the GOP.
Author: Steven Sinclaire