Schumer says Senate will move on Biden’s infrastructure agenda in July
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that his plan is for the upper chamber to move a major infrastructure spending bill through the Senate in July, whether the legislation is bipartisan or not.
When asked about what point he’s willing to move ahead with the budget reconciliation process to pass President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, Schumer told reporters, “The bottom line is very simple, that it has always been our plan regardless of the vehicle to work on an infrastructure bill in July. And that’s our plan, to move forward in July.”
Infrastructure talks appeared to hit a wall last week when White House and Senate Republican negotiators revealed there is a $1.5 trillion gap between their ideal price tags for a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Things became worse Monday when GOP senators said the White House staff appeared to be reining in Biden from striking a bipartisan deal, which prompted White House press secretary Jen Psaki to push back Tuesday.
“The counterproposal that our team put forward on Friday was approved by the president, was signed off by the president. Every single detail of that was directed by the president of the United States,” Psaki told reporters Tuesday.
“He was in the Senate for 36 years, I can promise you he does not take a hands-off approach to legislating, negotiating and determining what kinds of counterproposals we should put forward.”
A Senate Democratic aide told The Hill that White House and Senate GOP negotiators have another two to three weeks to hammer out a bipartisan deal before Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) begin to look at moving an infrastructure package under budget reconciliation. The process would allow the legislation to pass the Senate with only Democratic votes.