Senators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session

Senators unveiled a $1.2 trillion, eight-year infrastructure bill during a rare Sunday session after negotiators worked through the weekend.

The 2,702-page bill, spearheaded by Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken McConnell: Republicans 'united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling' MORE (R-Ohio), Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week Biden goes after top 1 percent in defending tax hikes MORE (D-Ariz.) and a larger group of roughly two dozen negotiators, is substantially narrower than the multitrillion-dollar plan envisioned by President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE earlier this year but includes a wide range of funding for roads, bridges, transit, broadband and water.

"We are proud this evening to announce this legislation, and we look forward very much to working with our colleagues in a collaborative and open way over the coming days to work through this historic investment in infrastructure," said Sinema from the Senate floor with the other negotiators.


Portman touted the bill, saying that the group is "getting it right tonight for the American people, for our economy and for the future of our great country."

Supporters of the bill are hopeful that they can pass the measure by the end of the week, though opponents could use the Senate's rulebook to drag it out if they want to.

Though the bill, named the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, costs an estimated $1.2 trillion over eight years, it includes only $550 billion in new spending. That, according to the White House, includes the largest investment ever by the federal government in public transit and the largest investment ever in clean drinking water and wastewater. 

The introduction of the bipartisan bill caps off months of behind-the-scenes negotiations among lawmakers, including announcing with Biden in late July that they had reached a deal on a framework for a $1.2 trillion bill over eight years.

After talks appeared on the brink of collapse last Monday amid intense public fighting, senators and the White House were able to get them back on track and announced Wednesday that they had reached a deal on the "major issues."

But they spent much of this week trying to resolve final sticking points, including a last-minute hiccup on broadband that negotiators say didn't get resolved until Friday. That kept negotiators perennially predicting they were on the cusp of unveiling their bill but not quite ready, kicking the Senate into a rare weekend session. 


The Senate convened on Saturday at 11 a.m. and stayed in limbo for roughly 10 hours as it waited for the group to release its legislation. But Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) announced shortly before 10 p.m. that they need more time and that the Senate would reconvene on Sunday. 

Schumer met with four of the core Democratic negotiators on Saturday as talks continued: Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerAdvocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Democrats draw red lines in spending fight Manchin puts foot down on key climate provision in spending bill MORE (Va.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken We have a plan that prioritizes Afghanistan's women — we're just not using it Scott Brown's wife files to run for Congress MORE (N.H.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Senate backers of new voting rights bill push for swift passage The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Polls open in California as Newsom fights for job MORE (Mont.) and Sinema. 

Warner indicated on Saturday that pieces of the bill were still being drafted, saying that they were finishing up the "last couple pieces of legislative language." Senators appeared hopeful on Sunday morning that they would be able to quickly unveil their bill. 

But the group spent hours fine-tuning and reviewing the text on Sunday, keeping the Senate in session late into the evening. The final sticking point, according to Senate negotiators, involved appropriations. 

"We didn't get the final version until today. And then we went back through it and said, 'Well, there's still some issues,' and so that's what we were working on all afternoon," Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyGOP senator on Texas abortion law: Supreme Court will 'swat it away' when 'it comes to them in an appropriate manner' GOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect MORE (R-La.), a member of the group, told The Hill. 

The Senate deal already overcame two hurdles last week, with the support of 17 GOP senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' MORE (Ky.). The Senate had been using a shell bill, but Schumer started the process on Sunday night of swapping in the bipartisan text. 

Members of the bipartisan group are feeling bullish that they'll be able to pass the bill by the end of the week. 

"Start amendment process hopefully on Monday. If not, we want it to be done by Thursday. We want to move on," Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (D-W.Va.) told CBS News's "Face the Nation" on Sunday. 

The bill is expected to face a days-long debate on the Senate floor, with Republicans, and some Democrats, eager to try to make changes after largey being on the sidelines of the bipartisan group's negotiations. 

Conservatives immediately fumed over the bill. 

“I’ve got real concerns with this bill. A lot of them," Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeEconomy adds just 235K jobs in August as delta hammers growth Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit Afghanistan fiasco proves we didn't leave soon enough MORE (R-Utah) said before launching into a lengthy floor speech. 

Lee also bristled at the plan, which has buy-in from Republicans in the group, to quickly pass the bill this week.


"This body has no business passing this legislation in a matter of just a few days," Lee said, while specifying that he can't support it. "We at least need a few weeks."

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Democrats aim for maximum pressure on GOP over debt ceiling MORE (R-Utah) rebutted criticism from some on the right, including former President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE, who have argued that the bill makes it easier for Democrats to pass a separate $3.5 trillion spending bill that Republicans are unified against. 

"If you don't think our Democrat friends are going to push that monstrosity with or without this bill, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. They are going to push for that anyway," Romney said. 

Passage of the bipartisan deal in the Senate would be a big win for Biden and the Senate negotiators who placed big bets that they would be able to clinch a deal, even as conservatives panned the agreement and progressives fumed over the months spent negotiating. 

"The fight for robust investments in working people should not be taking this long when Democrats control the House, Senate, and White House. Weeks have been wasted as some tried to negotiate with an obstructionist Republican party," Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalManchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails House is no easy road for Biden, Democrats on .5T package MORE (D-Wash.) wrote in a fundraising email on Saturday. 

Democrats are pursuing Biden's sweeping infrastructure and spending proposals along two tracks: the bipartisan proposal, which they will need at least 10 GOP votes to pass in the Senate, and a separate $3.5 trillion package that they will use budget rules to pass without GOP support in the Senate. 


Progressives have pushed for the two parts to be consolidated into one bill, allowing them to bypass lengthy negotiations with Republicans. But Biden has been publicly committed to getting bipartisan support for at least part of his proposal, and moderate Senate Democrats, whose votes will be needed for the $3.5 trillion bill, have warned that without the bipartisan legislation the overall package could collapse. 

Schumer has vowed that the Senate will vote on both the bipartisan bill and a budget resolution, which greenlights and includes instructions for drafting the $3.5 trillion package, before they leave for a weeks-long summer break. 

"Look, I have set two very ambitious goals for the Senate this summer, and we are now on the way to achieving both," Schumer said on Sunday night. 

Democrats appear confident that they have the 50 votes for the budget resolution, even though they face big fights over the content of the spending bill itself later this fall. 

But they are expected to lose the first week of the summer break, which was scheduled to begin on Aug. 9, in order to pass the budget resolution. 

"I expect that not next week but the following week the budget resolution will be on the floor. It will be passed," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (I-Vt.) told reporters this week.