McConnell warns Democrats against 'artificial timeline' for infrastructure deal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Treasury to use extraordinary measures despite debt ceiling hike MORE (R-Ky.) sent a warning shot on Monday over the bipartisan infrastructure deal, saying that Democrats shouldn’t create an “artificial timeline” and that Republicans want to offer potential changes.

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, called the roughly $1 trillion bipartisan deal a “good and important jumping-off point” but that it shouldn’t be the Senate’s “last word.”

It needs to be "a robust and bipartisan process out here on the floor,” he said.

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“Senators on both sides expect and deserve opportunities to have a say and put their own state’s imprints on this major bill,” he added.

McConnell’s comments come after the bipartisan group finalized its bill on Sunday night. The bill is substantially smaller than President BidenJoe BidenJan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms MORE’s plan, but includes funds for things like roads, bridges, transit, water and broadband.

Because the bill took weeks to draft, Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper Hispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act MORE (D-N.Y.) and some of the GOP negotiators want to pass the bill this week, potentially before a sizable number of senators are expected to go to a service on Friday for the late Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziCheney on same-sex marriage opposition: 'I was wrong' What Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Senate votes to end debate on T infrastructure bill MORE (R-Wyo.).

“The Senate can and should consider more amendments ... I would encourage senators from both sides of the aisle to submit potential amendments,” Schumer said on Monday

The Senate is expected to leave for a summer break as soon as Aug. 9, though that could slip because of the infrastructure debate.

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Schumer warned on Monday that “the longer it takes to finish the bill, the longer we’ll be here.”

But McConnell, speaking after Schumer, responded that the Senate’s debate “must not be choked off by an artificial timeline that our Democratic colleagues may have penciled out for political purposes.”

To wrap up debate on the bill Schumer will need the support of at least 10 GOP senators in addition to his whole caucus.

So far 17 GOP senators, including McConnell, have helped advance the bill. But several told The Hill that they were undecided on if they were a “yes” moving forward.

"I can't say until I see the statutory language. In fact, I can tell you that I told the whip organization that I'll vote to move to the bill, but I'm not going to tell you how I'm going to vote for the bill yet," said Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Fill the Eastern District of Virginia  MORE (R-Iowa).