UPDATED 12:57 PM PT – Sunday, July 25, 2021
Lawmakers said they’re aiming for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill this week. It’s been said they hope to have a finalized infrastructure proposal by the end of Sunday.
Reports said talks continued throughout Sunday with lawmakers eyeing a vote to advance the bill early this week. This comes after close to a dozen Republican senators in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) last week said they were ready to start debate on the bill, provided the major issues were resolved.
One senator said he wasn’t looking for a perfect bill, but enough of one that senators could move onto the amendment process. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the GOP’s lead negotiator, on Sunday pushed back on critics who said the bill was bipartisan in description only.
“I can guarantee you every single one of the issues has been bipartisan in the sense that there have been Republican views and Democrat views, and we found a way to find common ground, which is exactly what ought to happen,” Portman said.
This infrastructure bill is on a totally separate track from the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion irresponsible tax and spending bill that will add to inflation and hurt the American economy and working families.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) July 24, 2021
On Sunday, Democrat Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) said he believed the legislation would be ready on Monday. Lawmakers have said issues are still being resolved within the bill, including broadband funding, mass transit spending and paying prevailing wages on federally funded projects. Warner noted about $70 billion in unspent funding would be redeployed to help pay for the package.
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey (R) on Sunday warned against excessive spending, saying federal dollars were being treated like monopoly money and that spending has been getting completely out of hand. However, all the effort could prove for nothing if the bill is held up in the House, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has signaled she’s willing to do.
.@SenToomey on today’s CPI release: “We need to acknowledge that inflation is with us and it’s more severe than expected. The Fed has assured us that it’s all transitory . . . I remain concerned that they put themselves in a position of being behind the curve if they’re wrong.” pic.twitter.com/JR868DwCet
— Senate Banking GOP (@BankingGOP) July 13, 2021
In an interview Sunday, Pelosi affirmed she would hold a vote on the infrastructure proposal until the Senate passed a larger reconciliation package. She said she hopes the bill passes the Senate, but she won’t put it on the House floor until Democrats have the rest of the initiative.
“I’m telling you what’s going to happen in the House of Representatives, and that is that we are rooting for the infrastructure bill to pass, but we all know more needs to be done if we’re going to build back better,” said Pelosi.
These comments came under fire by Sen. Portman who said Pelosi’s remarks were counter to what Joe Biden and the Senate have committed to doing. He noted the infrastructure bill has nothing to do with the Democrats’ tax and spend reconciliation package. Portman added, if Pelosi had her way, they could end up with nothing, saying he can’t believe the speaker of the House would be blocking it.