Schumer: Text of bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal close to public release

By | August 1, 2021

Legislative text for the Senate’s long-awaited bipartisan infrastructure deal would be “finalized imminently,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday as the chamber continued an atypical weekend session.

Senate negotiators and their staff have worked throughout the weekend to finish the language for the bipartisan agreement, which will include $550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges, highways, broadband and water infrastructure.

In Sunday floor remarks, Schumer further predicted that the Senate would pass the legislation “in a matter of days” and reiterated his vow that the chamber would pass both the bipartisan bill and a budget blueprint for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending package before the August recess. But first, the bill will go through an arduous amendment process.

“After the bipartisan infrastructure legislation passes this chamber, I will immediately move to the other track,” Schumer said, referring to the social spending bill. “Both tracks are very much needed by the American people, and we must accomplish both.”

The bipartisan infrastructure agreement, a top priority for President Joe Biden, cleared two procedural hurdles last week, even as the actual language of the bill remained unfinished.

While all 50 Senate Democrats voted in favor of moving forward, the legislation has divided the Senate Republican conference. A total of 18 Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported advancing the legislation last week. Many Republicans say they’re waiting for bill text and a score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before making a final decision.

Both Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) predicted on CNN Sunday morning that legislative text would be out shortly. Collins said that the group on Friday night sent other senators “a large amount of the authorizing, the policy legislation.”

“Overnight, we have been finishing up the spending provisions, the appropriations provisions, and marrying them to the bill,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “And we really are just about finished. But large parts of text have already been shared with Senate offices.”