On Saturday afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted 67-27 to advance the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.
GOP yes votes, per @alizaslav — Roy Blunt, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Kevin Cramer, Mike Crapo, Chuck Grassley, John Hoeven, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Jim Risch, Mike Rounds, Mitt Romney, Thom Tillis, Todd Young, Deb Fischer, Cornyn— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 7, 2021
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."
Blunt, Capito, McConnell, Romney so far have voted to break a filibuster and advance the infrastructure bill — the clearest sign yet that this will get 60 and eventually pass the Senate. Vote ongoing— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 7, 2021
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."
Schumer ahead of key procedural vote on infrastructure — and uncertainty about the schedule: “We can get this done the easy way or the hard way. In either case, the Senate will stay in session until we finish our work. It's up to my Republican colleagues how long it takes.”— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 7, 2021
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."
We can’t just build back to the way things were before COVID-19, we have to build back better. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and my Build Back Better plan will grow our economy, and create an average of 2 million good-paying jobs every year over the next decade.— President Biden (@POTUS) August 7, 2021
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is a historic, once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure. It will create good-paying, union jobs repairing our roads and bridges, replacing lead pipes, and building energy transmission lines.— President Biden (@POTUS) August 7, 2021
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.
We’ve been sitting around all day waiting for action on today’s installment of the $5 trillion Biden spending spree, so I decided to record the remarks I was going to give whenever we got to this bill… https://t.co/12YSMI7aYU— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) August 5, 2021