Schumer sets one-month goal for passing two spending bills

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is seen during a weekly press conference following the Democratic policy luncheon on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday said he hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a reconciliation package in the next month, setting another target date for Congress to approve two pieces of legislation central to President Biden’s domestic agenda after a failed attempt last week.

Schumer, during a press conference in New York City on Sunday, said he believes Congress is on track to pass the pair of bills.

“We’re trying to pass some of the most significant legislation to help working families — throughout New York and around the country — that’s been done since Franklin D. Roosevelt,” Schumer said.

“It takes a little time. I believe we’re on track to pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill as well as the reconciliation build back better bill, and our goal is to get both bills done in the next month,” he added.

Schumer’s deadline for passage of the bills matches that of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who announced on Saturday that she wants to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by Oct. 31, when the 30-day reauthorization of highway funding expires.

Pelosi said the House “must” pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill “well before” Oct. 31, adding “the sooner the better, to get the jobs out there.”

The new timeline comes after progressives and moderates failed to break their stalemate over the two pieces of legislation last week.

House progressives refused to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill — which the Senate approved in August — because there was no deal on the Democrats’ larger reconciliation package.

Democratic leaders over the summer had vowed to keep the two pieces of legislation linked together.

The reconciliation package, however, is still being negotiated because some moderates — namely Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — have said they will not support a package with the current $3.5 trillion price tag. Manchin said last week he won’t go higher than $1.5 trillion. 

Biden huddled with House Democrats in the Capitol on Friday to discuss the differences between the two wings of the party.

Neither side showed a willingness to concede in their requests last week, causing the Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill to be delayed to Thursday, then Friday, then postponed indefinitely.

The delay angered moderates, who were pushing for the bill to be approved last week.

Tags Charles Schumer Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Nancy Pelosi

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