WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- In a 67-32 vote on Wednesday, the bipartisan infrastructure deal would be open for Senate debate and negotiations.
- The infrastructure deal was slimmed down to $550 billion from the initial $579 billion fund.
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was aiming to pass both the infrastructure bill and budget resolution before the chamber’s recess early next month.
Democratic leaders got one step closer to attain their all-encompassing economic plan after the Senate voted on Wednesday 67-32 to push the bipartisan infrastructure plan. All 50 Democrats voted in favor of the bill, with the help of 17 Republicans.
The vote meant that the package is open for debate and further negotiations.
“Despite the popularity of it and the need for it Washington hasn’t been able to get it done,” GOP lead negotiator Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said following the vote. “This time we’re going to get it done.”
The deal was put on a vote after a consensus from both Democratic and Republican negotiators who earlier had to fix a disagreement on some issues particularly about transit and broadband funding. The vote implies that the bill could be passed even if it could face opposition from GOP Senate members.
From the initial $579 billion budget, it was cut down to $550 billion to get the go signal from the GOP side, as Democrats still wish for a bigger allocation.
The bill’s advocates noted that the economic package was an essential investment that would aid the country’s economy as it attempts to wake up from the pandemic fall. Democrats would still need to overcome some hurdles to successfully pass the bipartisan package, and more importantly, the $3.5 trillion package of President Joe Biden’s sweeping economic plan.
Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Wednesday that the Senate remains on track to meet the deadlines. He said that the Senate could have a longer session just to approve the bill.
“My goal remains to pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution during this work period. Both,” he said, adding that “it might take some long nights. It might eat into our weekends. But we are going to get the job done. And we are on track.”
Schumer is targeting to legislate both the bipartisan bill and the budget resolution that start the reconciliation process prior to the upcoming recess on August 9.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) noted that she would not bring either of the infrastructure bill or budget measure to the House floor until both have been passed by the Senate.
Both Democrat leaders would need to sustain the support from their partymates with the help of some Republican colleagues to get the job done.