Sen. Mazie Hirono said Saturday she believes both the infrastructure and spending bills will be passed.
“I feel more confident than I usually feel that we’re going to get there because the Democrats want to get on to the American family plan, as I mentioned, that will enable people to get back to work,” Hirono (D-Hawaii) told Ali Velshi on MSNBC.
The Senate is expected to vote later Saturday to advance the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has sworn not to let the August recess begin until the chamber passes both the bipartisan deal and the blueprint for the $3.5 trillion social spending package, which can be passed without any Republican support.
On Saturday’s vote, Hirono said, “The amendments going forward will have to be by unanimous consent.” The Saturday vote will be to move toward the substitute amendment, she said, and after that, there will need to be agreement “on what amendments will be deemed amendments to vote on.”
If senators can’t agree on amendments, she said, “We’ll have to vote on the bill itself after a week of debate.”
Asked about the progressive Democrats who don’t want to sign on to the infrastructure package until the reconciliation bill is at least written, Hirono said, “I feel quite confident that the 50 Democrats who actually care about getting our economy back on track and millions of women — enabling them to get back to work … that there will be an agreement on the budget bill.”
Velshi pointed out that Hawaii, like California and many other parts of the country, is experiencing wildfires and that the issue is connected to the infrastructure bill, which includes some climate measures.
“In fact, there are weather events happening across the country. Not just in Hawaii, but wildfires in other places to the point where, yeah, we need to put more resources into preventing and what happens after wildfires,” Hirono said. “There’s a lot in the infrastructure bill that will enable both the Republicans and the Democrats … to support it.”