Republicans veto U.S. infrastructure debate may resume next week Reuters


© Reuters. On July 20, 2021, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer attended a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., with mothers who were helped with the payment of child tax credits. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz


By Susan Conwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters)-Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked a public debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure measure on Wednesday, which is the top priority for Democratic President Joe Biden, but the House of Representatives is prepared as early as Monday Consider again.

Republicans oppose the debate on the bill because it has not been written yet, although it It is not uncommon for the House of Representatives to vote on a framework “shell” bill to advance the legislative process.

After the Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer changed the vote from “Yes” to “No” at the last minute, 51 senators voted against the opening debate and said that this would allow him to reconsider voting in the future under Senate rules. The Senate’s rules require 60 votes to advance most legislation.

The main Republican Senator Rob Portman of the bipartisan group that formulated the plan said that 11 Republicans signed a letter to Schumer telling him that they were willing to vote “yes” as soon as next week.

They hope to resolve the outstanding issues of the proposal, including how to pay for it.

“We voted against today because we are not ready yet, but we said we really want to accept this bill as soon as possible. We think it will be Monday,” Portman said before the vote.

The bipartisan organization said in a statement that the bill is about to reach a final agreement, which includes $600 billion in new spending on roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

One of the members of the organization, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said in a statement that the senators have made significant progress and are about to reach a final agreement.

But Mitt Romney, another Republican senator from the organization, said that he does not expect to have the full text before Monday: “We will reach an agreement and a lot of text, but not all. It will take a long time. Time to get the full text. It will have hundreds of pages.”

Schumer insisted on holding a procedural vote on Wednesday, saying that after weeks of negotiators bargaining over the details, it is time to start debating the measure in the Senate.

He said: “The senator should feel relieved today that the vote is moving forward.”

Some Liberal Democrats say they think Republicans have deliberately slowed down a measure they might eventually vote against.

Two-step method

Both parties used incomplete bills in the past to promote field operations or meet technical requirements. Republicans specifically used this technique when trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Biden believes that the bipartisan infrastructure bill is crucial. He also hopes that Congress will pass a separate $3.5 trillion budget plan that will allow legislation to address climate change and social spending provisions that most Republicans hate.

The Democratic Party hopes to pass Congress as soon as possible after the bipartisan bill is completed to push for greater measures along the party line. Republicans believe that the two-step approach weakens bipartisan cooperation in the infrastructure bill.

Schumer had hoped to pass the Senate before the August adjournment. Both parties are keenly aware of the congressional elections in November 2022, which will determine who controls Congress during the second half of Biden’s term.

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