Senate Votes to Advance Infrastucture Bill

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Posted: Aug 07, 2021 2:15 PM
Senate Votes to Advance Infrastucture Bill

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

On Saturday afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted 67-27 to advance the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package. 

As support from various Republican senators came in, CNN's Manu Raju called it "the clearest sign yet that this will get 60 and eventually pass the Senate."

In his support for the legislation and in stressing bipartisanship, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has spoken up in favor of hearing various amendments before there is a final vote on the bill. 

As Jordain Carney for The Hill reported:

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has helped advance the bill so far, sounded positive about its merits on Saturday morning. But he noted that Republicans want more amendment votes before a final vote, which could drag out until Tuesday morning.

“There are many outstanding amendments that are important that would improve the legislation, and deserve votes before the Senate is asked to vote on final passage of the bill,” McConnell said.

“The full Senate deserves its full chance to shape this important legislation," he continued. "I hope senators can work together in a bipartisan way to get more amendments up."

Senators are still haggling over a potential deal on amendments. Without an agreement, Republicans are expected to force the Senate to run out the clock for up to 60 hours before a final vote to pass the bill.

The full 60 hours would come on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has made it clear that the Senate will remain in session until "we finish our work."

Earlier on Saturday, President Joe Biden took to his official Twitter account to promote the package in a series of tweets, claiming "We can't afford not to do it."

On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis revealing that "On net, the legislation would add $256 billion to projected deficits over that [2021-2031] period."

In recorded remarks he shared to Twitter on Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) took issue with senators voting against his own previous bipartisan infrastructure plan while supporting this legislation currently being considered and likely to pass.

Sen. Paul emphasized that his plan would provide new roads without "adding one penny of debt" and "actually paid for." He referred to the currently considered legislation as being "fake paid for," and said its proponents have been using "budgetary gimmicks... to obscure this enormous price tag," and pointing out that the bill's proponents are aware of this. 

Katie and Matt have highlighted some of the particularly absurd projects included in the legislation. 

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