Senate

Reid: Dems will block moving forward with highway bill

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested Tuesday that Democrats would block a long-term highway bill until they have more time to read the legislation.

The Senate is expected to take a procedural vote at 4 p.m. Thursday on the highway bill, but Democrats complain they have yet to see the legislation.

“We’re not going to vote on a bill we haven’t seen. We’ll vote on it but not favorably,” Reid told reporters, saying that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should “join us to postpone this vote.”

{mosads}The procedural motion has already been pushed back from 2:15 p.m. to give lawmakers time to review the deal worked out by McConnell and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Reid suggested that he would be “surprised” if Democrats support moving forward with the bill unless Republicans agree to further postpone the vote.

“I would think that most Democrats are going to want to read it first,” he added. 

McConnell and Boxer rolled out a long-term highway proposal earlier Tuesday. The six-year bill includes three years of funding, meaning lawmakers will have to reach an agreement on how to fund the additional three years. 
 
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) suggested that Democrats need as little as one extra day to review the highway bill, meaning that they could be ready to vote as soon as Wednesday.
 
Democrats aren’t alone in their frustration.
 
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) posted a video on Instagram of him printing the mammoth bill on Tuesday afternoon, adding that if he doesn’t have time to read it first, his “default vote is ‘no.'”
 
But Republican leadership showed no signs of being open to delaying the procedural vote. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) sought to pressure Democrats, who he said have been calling on Republicans to back a long-term bill. 
 
“We’ll see whether our Democratic allies … will take yes for an answer,” he told reporters. 
 
This story was updated at 4:06 p.m.
Tags Barbara Boxer Dick Durbin Harry Reid John Cornyn Mike Lee Mitch McConnell
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