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Infrastructure bill 2021 fails first vote; Senate to try again

Washington-Senator Republicans refused efforts on Wednesday to begin discussions on a large-scale infrastructure deal mediated by a bipartisan senator group with President Joe Biden. However, supporters of both parties continued to look forward to another opportunity in the coming days.

New York Democratic leader Chuck Schumer was planning a procedural vote he described as a step to “roll the ball” as negotiations proceeded. However, Republicans interfered with the filibuster and said bipartisan groups needed more time to put the deal together and consider the details. They asked for a delay until Monday.

Party-line votes were 51-49 against progress, well below the 60 “yes” votes required to pass the Republican block. Democratic leaders finally switched the vote to “no.” This is a procedural step that allows him to move on to rethinking.

Approximately $ 1 trillion in measures over five years includes approximately $ 579 billion in new spending on roads, broadband and other public works projects. This is the first phase of Biden’s infrastructure agenda, followed by a much broader $ 3.5 trillion second step from the Democratic Party next month.

Senator Rob Portman, a key negotiator, flashed a thumbs-up sign when he crouched for a private lunch before voting, indicating that Senator had sent Schumer a letter asking for more time. It was. “We’ll be ready this week,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

Six months after Biden took office, his signed “Build Back Better” campaign promise is an important moment to test expectations for a new era of presidency and bipartisan cooperation in Washington.

Biden, who headed to Ohio late Wednesday to promote economic policy, calls his infrastructure agenda “a blue-collar blueprint for rebuilding the American economy.” He said Americans were overwhelmingly in favor of his plans.

But Kentucky Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the large spending was “the last thing American families needed.”

White House aides and bipartisan senator groups have met personally every day to close deals since Sunday. This will be the first phase of the final $ 4 trillion or more domestic spending package for roads and bridges, as well as the expansion of Medicare for childcare, family tax deductions, education and the elderly. Of everyday life, including.

The next step is uncertain, but bipartisan groups claim it’s close to a deal and expect it to end soon. Prior to voting, Senators attended a private lunch by two leaders of House’s Problem Solver’s Caucus, a bipartisan group that generally supports the effort.

Republican senators called for a postponement of the vote and said they would support 11 Republicans signing a letter to Schumer and voting in favor on Monday when certain details about the package were ready.

Schumer said Senator was in the fourth week of negotiations after reaching an agreement with the White House on a broader framework for infrastructure spending. He said Wednesday’s vote did not mean a deadline to settle all the details.

“My colleagues are well aware that we often agree to proceed with discussions on the issue before we get the text,” Schumer said. “I’ve done it twice this year.”

McConnell called it a “stunt” that failed to vote, but Senator emphasized that he was “negotiating in good faith across the aisle.”

“Around here, we usually make a bill before voting,” he said.

Republican core groups are interested in pursuing a more modest package of traditional highways and public works, about $ 600 billion in new funding, and more time to negotiate with Democratic colleagues and the White House. I say it is necessary.

Indiana Republican Senator Todd Young, one of the Republicans who signed a letter calling for delays, said he was “cautiously optimistic” to reach a bipartisan agreement.

A bipartisan group senator emerged brightly on Tuesday from another late-night negotiation session with Aide Biden at the Houses of Parliament, the deal is within reach, and Wednesday’s voting failure is not the end of the road. Said.

In fact, Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy said Wednesday’s test vote could help “advance and accelerate” the process.

“We are very close,” said Democratic Senator John Tester of Montana.

Biden has been in contact with both Democrats and Republicans for several days, and White House spokesman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday, “until he submits both bills on his desk and signs the law.” He said his work would continue.

Biden is proposing to pay the proposal by raising taxes on businesses and wealthy Americans who earn more than $ 400,000 a year, but bipartisan groups spend nearly 24 hours trying to find a compromise on package payments. We are working on a system. Help gasoline tax drivers pay by pumps or strengthen the Internal Revenue Service to pursue tax compromises.

Instead, senators from bipartisan groups are considering rolling back Trump-era rules on drug rebates that could bring about $ 170 billion in infrastructure. They are also fighting for public transport funding.

To reach the 60-vote threshold needed to move the bill into formal consideration beyond filibuster, 10 Republicans are evenly divided in the Senate to join all 50 Democrats. I needed it. Schumer can set up another vote to move on to the bill later.

Many Republicans are wary of moving forward with the first relatively slim package, and the broader Democrats are preparing to pass on their own under special budget rules that require only 51 votes. We are afraid to pave the way for a $ 3.5 trillion effort. Vice President Kamala Harris can break the tie.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been working to keep the restless Liberal Democrats in her room as the Senate’s slowing pace has increased the impatience of good lawmakers.

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal told reporters on Tuesday, “It’s a waste of time. I want to do this job.”

Rep. Peter Defazio, chairman of the House Transport Infrastructure Committee, dismissed the Senate’s bipartisan efforts as inadequate. He wants more solid spending on transportation elements and said, “We really want the opportunity to negotiate.”

Democrats want to show progress on the bill before lawmakers leave Washington for an August recess.


Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Darlene Superville, and Josh Boak contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

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