- Bipartisan Senators working on a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill published its text late Sunday.
- The bill is due to be fast-tracked for a vote in the Senate this week, but may face opposition.
- Biden supports the package, though it is smaller than the White House had hoped.
The final version of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill — hammered out by a bipartisan group of Senators — was released late on Sunday night.
The full text came in at 2,702 pages. Despite its size and cost, its proponents hope to fast-track it through the Senate for an expected vote this week.
Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer wants the bill passed before senators leave on their August break next week, and held a special legislative weekend to get the process started.
The bill would see a huge injection of investment in the so-called “hard infrastructure,” of roads, bridges, and broadband.
If passed it would be the biggest package of its kind for decades. It includes $550 billion in new spending on infrastructure, as well as $450 billion in funds previously approved.
Senators raced last week to complete the final details of the vast text before the planned vote this week. It followed months of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans that saw an earlier $2 trillion plan put forward by President Joe Biden whittled down to secure wider support.
If the bill passes the Senate it would then need to be approved by the House of Representatives. Some progressives have said it now falls short of their spending demands and have threatened to block it.
Democrats hold a slender majority in both the Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tie-breaker vote, and the House, where Democrats have a 220-212 majority.
In the Senate, two test votes on the bill indicated broad bipartisan support, suggesting it is likely to pass. But some Republicans could object to the bill on the basis that some of the details of how it’s going to be funded are unclear.
At least 10 GOP Senators and every Democrat would need to support the bill for it to reach the necessary level of 60 votes.
Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who was part of the group that brokered the deal, said on CNN on Sunday that she though enough GOP Senators would back it.
—The Hill (@thehill) August 1, 2021
“This bill is good for America,” said Collins. “Every senator can look at bridges and roads and need for more broadband, waterways in their states, seaports, airports, and see the benefits, the very concrete benefits, no pun intended, of this legislation.”
Democrats aim to later pass an even broader $3.5 trillion spending bill containing a number of environmental measures. Those more contentious provisions would be presented under the mechanism of budget reconciliation, which allows bills on certain topics to pass with 50 instead of 60 votes.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the House’s leading progressives, said that there was enough opposition in the House to stop the bill passing.
She suggested that progressives would only pass the bipartisan bill once the larger spending bill was through.
“So, we really need to see that language and see what’s put in there … when it reaches the House,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Bipartisan doesn’t always mean that it’s in the interests of the public good, frankly. Sometimes, there’s a lot of corporate lobbyist giveaways in some of these bills.”