Senate set to pass bipartisan infrastructure bill Tuesday
The Senate is poised to pass a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Tuesday, capping off a lengthy, days-long debate.
Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), wrapping up the chamber’s work for the day, said it had “come to an agreement” and that the Senate will vote on passing the bill at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
“It has taken quite a long time, and there have been detours and everything else, but this will do a whole lot of good for America, and the Senate can be proud it has passed this,” Schumer said about the bipartisan bill.
Technically, the clock on the bipartisan bill runs out early Tuesday morning, but cutting the deal on timing allows senators to bypass having to come back for a middle-of-the-night vote.
The bill is on a glide path to passage, as roughly 20 GOP senators have supported advancing the bill so far.
The bill, which includes approximately $550 billion in new spending, is substantially smaller than the plan initially outlined by President Biden earlier this year. But it includes new funding for things such as roads, bridges, rail, water and broadband.
Even as it’s been clear for days that the bill had enough support to pass the Senate, it’s been slow-walked.
Senators tried to cut a deal late last week to vote on a package of between 16 and 25 potential changes and then pass the bill. But Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) refused to sign off on the deal even amid intense lobbying from his Republican colleagues.
“Certainly not all of my colleagues are backing it, and the fact that I was able to stop this infrastructure package, slow it down, keep it from being passed in the middle of the night last Thursday has given us some time to really air this in front of the American public,” Hagerty said during a Fox Business interview on Monday.
The Senate then stayed in session over the weekend to grind through the 60 hours that the bill’s opponents could require before the vote to pass it and send it to the House, where it faces a less certain future.
The inability to get a deal to speed up the Senate’s consideration of the bill also stalemated discussions on getting additional votes on potential amendments to the bill to a halt.
Several GOP senators have tried over the last two days to set up votes on their amendments, but they’ve run into pushback from Democrats. An attempt by multiple senators on Monday to get a deal on changes to the bill’s cryptocurrency provisions was also blocked by both Republicans and Democrats.
Once the Senate passes the bipartisan bill, Democrats are expected to move directly to taking up the budget resolution that greenlights and includes instructions on drafting a $3.5 trillion spending package later this year.
Democrats are using the budget rules to pass both the resolution and the subsequent spending bill without GOP votes.
Before the Senate can pass the budget resolution, it faces up to 50 hours of debate and needs to endure a chaotic, hours-long session known as a vote-a-rama that allows any senator to force a vote on any proposal they want.
Senators are in discussions about yielding back most of their debate time and moving quickly to the chaotic session. Schumer, on Monday night, said that they would start the marathon of votes “shortly” after they formally take up the budget resolution on Tuesday.
Updated at 9:32 p.m.