Schumer eyes infrastructure, tech as next priorities for Democrats

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) pointed to a massive infrastructure package and tech legislation as the next priorities for Democrats after they wrap up coronavirus relief.

Schumer, speaking to reporters after a Democratic caucus call, said that he had instructed committee chairs to start drafting legislation to “out-compete China,” including investments in tech.

“Today on our caucus call, I directed the chairs and members of our relevant committees to start drafting a legislative package to out-compete China and create new American jobs,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.

Schumer, who pledged that the bill would be bipartisan, said it would touch on strengthening the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry and building out 5G.

In addition, Schumer is also turning his focus to what is likely to be the second bill that Democrats try to pass through reconciliation: infrastructure.

“We need a strong stimulus to get our long-term economy going. … We need a strong stimulus that creates and builds jobs and pumps up the economy for a long period of time. The Build Back Better Plan is something that I think we would turn to very soon after the American Rescue Plan is done,” Schumer said.

Democrats are eyeing $3 trillion for the infrastructure package, which Schumer said also needed to include worker training and would need be “green” — a reference to climate proposals that are expected to be folded in.

President Biden has outlined a massive plan that would include infrastructure, manufacturing and combating climate change.

To pass the bill without using reconciliation — a budget tool that allows some legislation to bypass the legislative filibuster — they would need 60 votes.

But Schumer has long predicted that they would use the second reconciliation bill for infrastructure.

“We’re looking at how we make Build Back Better, fit as much of it into reconciliation as we can, because we get two reconciliation motions. One for COVID and then one, probably, for Build Back Better,” he said during an MSNBC interview last month.

Tags American Rescue Plan Biden infrastructure Build Back Better plan Charles Schumer Joe Biden

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