GOP negotiators say they'll vote to start infrastructure debate next week

Republicans say they will have enough GOP support to start a debate on an infrastructure package next week as negotiators signal they are close to finalizing their deal.

“Today we’re not going to be able to support moving forward, we will be able to on Monday,” Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris Senate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama MORE (R-Ohio), who has led the talks for Republicans, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill MORE (R-Utah), another member of the negotiating group, said that 10 to 12 Republicans would be ready to start debate by early next week.

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“Almost everything is resolved. ... We will have another vote I hope next week and we’ll be able to proceed to the bill. We have enough Republicans, 10 or 12 or more Republicans, that are supportive of going on the bill,” Romney said.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTop Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure Bill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (R-Maine), another member of the negotiating group, told reporters that 11 GOP senators will send a letter to Schumer on Wednesday saying that they will be ready to start debate next week if the group has its agreement finalized.

Portman indicated early Wednesday afternoon that they letter had been sent.

The negotiating group was expected to send the letter on Tuesday, but GOP senators leaving Capitol for the night said that it hadn’t been sent.

The GOP's pledge to put up at least the 10 votes Democrats will need to break a filibuster is contingent on the group of roughly two dozen senators finalizing their deal, though they warn legislative text will take substantially longer.

The core group of negotiators met late Tuesday night and are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday. Though they are unlikely to resolve their remaining issues and finalize their deal by the end of Wednesday, several members of the group said a deal is just days away.

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“I would think that hopefully this weekend we’ll be wrapping it up,” said Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done MORE (D-W.Va.).

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal MORE (D-Mont.), another member of the group, added that’s what left to work out “is very small.”

The Senate will vote on Wednesday to try to start debate on essentially a shell bill that the bipartisan text would be swapped into.

But because the bipartisan group is still working to reach its deal, that vote is going to fall short of the 60 votes needed to advance.

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Schumer's moment to transform transit and deepen democracy MORE (D-N.Y.) can switch his vote — a procedural option that allows him to easily bring the bill back up.

But Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate votes to take up infrastructure deal Senators say they have deal on 'major issues' in infrastructure talks Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill MORE (R-S.D.) cautioned that Republicans, even within the group of 22, could be wary of voting to open debate if the group’s work drags into early next week.

“I don’t think there will be a lot of support beyond the group and perhaps even with it for proceeding to something that isn’t yet ready,” Thune told reporters.

Updated 1:15 p.m.