Senator Joe Manchin, DW. Va., Speaks during the Problem Solvers Caucus press conference on the infrastructure deal outside the Capitol on Friday, July 30, 2021.
Bill Clark | CQ Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
The senators presented their bipartisan infrastructure law on Sunday after months of wrangling and made it available for adoption this week.
Majority leader Chuck Schumer wants to get the 2,702-page law through the chamber before a planned one-month break from August 9th. Votes on amendments – or a senator’s decision to delay the process – could shake the New York Democrats’ timeline.
Schumer on Monday called on all 100 senators to agree to the amendment process, warning that “the longer it takes to finalize the bill, the longer we will be here”. However, minority leader Mitch McConnell signaled that he was in no hurry to get a final vote on the bill.
“Our full scrutiny of this law must not be stifled by an artificial schedule that our Democratic counterparts may have set for political reasons,” the Kentucky Republican said Monday.
The coming days will prove crucial to President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. Before the Senate leaves Washington, Schumer plans to pass both the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill and a budget measure that would allow Democrats to pass a separate $ 3.5 trillion spending package without a Republican vote.
“Given the bipartisan nature of the bill and the fact that a lot of work has already been put into getting the details right, I believe the Senate can process relevant amendments quickly and pass this bill within a few days,” said Schumer on Sunday evening.
“Then I will put the Senate on the second path of our infrastructure efforts and take up the budget resolution,” he continued.
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It could then take a while for both of the massive bills to get to Biden’s desk. The house is not expected to return to Washington until September 20.
Meanwhile, the upcoming mid-term elections next year could bring Congress to a standstill if Democrats fail to pass the bills by the end of 2021.
While the bipartisan plan seems ready to get through the Senate, the Democrats’ two-pronged plan could still get derailed. House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said she would not include the infrastructure plan or budget measure until the Senate passes both, a strategy that has sparked criticism from Republicans.
Center Democrats in both houses have concerns about the $ 3.5 trillion price tag attached to their party’s bill. Some progressives claim it doesn’t go far enough.
Democrats and Republicans who support the Infrastructure Bill say it will boost the economy and refresh transportation and utility systems. The Democrats want to go further with their second plan to expand the social safety net and curb climate change.
The bipartisan package would include approximately $ 550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges, airports, waterways, broadband, water systems and the electricity grid.
“For the past four days we’ve worked day and night to finalize historic laws that invest in our country’s tough infrastructure and create well-paying jobs for working Americans in communities across the country without raising taxes,” the 10 Republican and Democratic senators who helped draft the infrastructure bill, said a statement on Sunday.
They said they looked forward to “getting this bill through the Senate and delivering it to the American people.”
To move on to their larger bill, Democrats must first pass a budget resolution that will initiate the reconciliation process. It would allow a plan with only 50 members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate to pass.
The party’s aim is to expand childcare and paid leave, increase state aid for health care, and facilitate access to pre-school and higher education. She also hopes to expand family tax breaks, encourage the adoption of green energy, and make buildings and infrastructure more resilient to climate change.
While the Democrats appear to be passing their budget decision, some Senators have signaled that they will seek to cut the final legislation.
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