Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPortman rips ‘arbitrary deadline of Wednesday’ on infrastructureSenate Republican says he can’t vote to open debate on infrastructure bill before he sees textBiden calls for voting rights passage on anniversary of John Lewis’s deathMORE (D-N.Y.) moved on Monday to tee up a key test vote for a bipartisan infrastructure bill despite GOP warnings that they’ll block the Senate from moving forward.
Schumer’s maneuvering sets up the test vote for Wednesday, where he’ll need 60 votes including the support of at least 10 Republicans in order to advance a shell bill, into which senators would swap the text of the bipartisan deal once it is finished.
“That vote on cloture will take place on Wednesday,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. “What we’re talking about this week is a vote on whether or not to proceed to debate.”
The Wednesday vote would be the first step toward taking up and debating the bipartisan infrastructure package. Schumer on Monday night stressed that senators were just agreeing to start debate if they vote “yes” on Wednesday and that it was not a hard deadline for the bipartisan group to wrap up its work.
“It is not a deadline to determine every final detail of the bill,” he said.
If he is able to get over Wednesday’s initial hurdle, Schumer is planning to make the bipartisan group the first amendment to the shell bill if it’s finished on Thursday. If the bipartisan group isn’t ready, he said he would instead swap in smaller pieces such as a water infrastructure bill as the first amendment.
But Republicans have said that without a deal on the bipartisan package Schumer will fall short of being able to get the 60 votes needed to advance the shell bill.
Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Goldman Sachs – Schumer sets firm deadline on bipartisan infrastructure planSenate negotiators scramble to defang GOP criticismOn The Money: IRS funds snag infrastructure deal | Biden touts ‘transformative’ child tax credit payments | Powell’s uncertain futureMORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, warned that without the bipartisan group being finished by Wednesday, Schumer “is not going to get 60, let’s put it that way.”
The bipartisan group is still trying to finalize their legislation after announcing with President BidenJoe BidenGraham says he’d ‘leave town’ to stop .5T spending planAfghan ambassador, diplomats withdrawn from IslamabadBiden seeks to prove his skeptics wrongMORE at the White House late last month that they had a deal on a framework for $1.2 trillion in spending over eight years. Several GOP members have warned Schumer against moving forward with the Wednesday vote because they won’t be ready with their bill by then.
Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSunday shows – Surgeon general in the spotlight as delta variant spreadsPortman rips ‘arbitrary deadline of Wednesday’ on infrastructureKey Republican says no IRS pay-fors in infrastructure billMORE (R-Ohio), who has led the talks with Democrats, called forcing a vote without legislation finalized “absurd.” Portman estimated that they had roughly a dozen things left to be figured out, and that the bipartisan group is talking by Zoom on Monday night.
“People need to know what’s in it, that’s only fair, right,” Portman said.
Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate negotiators scramble to defang GOP criticismPro-impeachment Republicans outpace GOP rivals in second-quarter fundraisingTrouble: IRS funding snags bipartisan infrastructure dealMORE (R-Alaska) declined to say how she would vote on Wednesday, but urged Schumer to give the group space to work out their remaining hurdles.
“I don’t want us to lose the momentum and just the energy that we’ve built. …If what we’re trying to do is to succeed and I would like to think that Senator Schumer would actually like this to succeed then he will allow us that time to make sure that the language is right. That people have an opportunity to actually look at what they might be moving on,” Murkowski said.
Democrats are under fierce pressure to meet their pledge to advance Biden’s sweeping infrastructure plan before they leave for the August recess.
Schumer has vowed that he will hold a vote on both the bipartisan infrastructure deal and a budget resolution that will tee up a second, $3.5 trillion party-line spending package, before the Senate leaves town.
“We must make significant progress on both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the budget resolution by the end of the work period. There is no reason we can’t get the ball rolling this week on both elements of the Senate’s infrastructure agenda,” he said.