Thursday, December 2

Bipartisan infrastructure agreement advances in the Senate

(CNN) — The Senate took the next step this Friday to carry out a bipartisan infrastructure agreement of approximately one trillion dollars that will meet the key priorities of President Joe Biden’s agenda.The Senate approved with 66 votes in favor and 28 against a motion to proceed, a vote that will open the legislative package to possible changes through the amendment process. Sixteen Republican senators joined Senate Democrats in voting for it.

It remains to be seen whether any amendments will be accepted, as they are expected to be subject to a 60-vote threshold. The text of the bill has yet to be formally unveiled, and the amendments are not expected to be considered until Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer offers the finalized agreement as a supplemental amendment, which could happen sometime. Friday time. The expectation is that there could be a vote on the amendments over the weekend.

“Given the bipartisan nature of the bill, the Senate should be able to process this legislation fairly quickly,” Schumer said Friday before the vote. “We may need the weekend, we may vote several amendments, but with the cooperation of our Republican colleagues I believe we can finish the bipartisan infrastructure bill in a matter of days.”

The regulatory vote was briefly delayed on Friday as lawmakers argued over the legislative text and Republicans accused the Democratic leadership of trying to substitute an alternative version as the base text of the bill that differed from the bipartisan agreement. Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, one of the bipartisan group’s top negotiators, said, however, that Schumer had assured him that would not happen and that he would let the bipartisan bill serve as a base proposal.

“The rumors and insinuations are false,” a Democratic adviser told CNN. “Schumer agreed from the outset that the replacement would be the text agreed upon by the bipartisan group. That remains the case.”

The details of the bipartisan infrastructure project

The Senate aims to approve the bipartisan agreement before going into the imminent August recess, which is scheduled to begin late next week, although House leaders could change it.

The vote comes after the negotiators They will announce a deal earlier this week. More than half of the bill, about $ 550 billion, comes from new federal funds. The project will allocate US $ 73,000 million in the reconstruction of the electricity grid, US $ 66,000 million in passenger and freight railways, US $ 65,000 million in expanding broadband Internet access, US $ 55,000 million in hydraulic infrastructures, US $ 40 billion for bridge maintenance, $ 39 billion for the modernization of public transportation, such as buses, and $ 7.5 billion for the creation of the first federal network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

The US must improve its infrastructure, says specialist 1:15

Budget reconciliation

The effort to pass the bipartisan agreement is part of a Democrats’ two-way strategy, who simultaneously drive a second effort, much broader, to enact the main pieces of Biden’s agenda through the budget reconciliation process, which will allow them to enact legislation with only Democratic votes.

The first step in passing that broader law will be for the Senate to pass a budget resolution.

Schumer said Friday they are “on track” to pass both a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution before the August recess.

“It is an ambitious deadline, of course. But the hard work put in by senators and staff means that we are on track to achieve it,” he said.

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