Republicans in the Senate are expected to block a vote Wednesday that’s intended to advance a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that’s been high on President Joe Biden’s priority list.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he will call for a procedural vote Wednesday on the bill, which is still being negotiated. No Republicans are expected to vote for it.
Schumer said the vote is a bid to push the bill forward since it’s been nearly a month since Biden said moderate Republicans and Democrats had agreed on a framework.
The bipartisan infrastructure package focuses on brick-and-mortar projects while Democrats prefer a version that seeks $3.5 trillion for wider related issues like climate change initiatives and “human infrastructure” such as childcare.
“A ‘yes’ vote [Wednesday] is simply that the Senate is ready to begin debating a bipartisan infrastructure bill,” Schumer said, according to NPR. “No more, no less.
“We’ve waited a month. It’s time to move forward.”
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who is part of that bipartisan group that worked on the framework of the bill, called on Schumer to delay Wednesday’s vote until Monday because negotiators are close to reaching a full agreement.
“Until we’ve ironed out all of the remaining issues, Wednesday is premature, but I think Monday would be sufficient time for us to get all the remaining issues solved, and socialize the legislation with our colleagues so they know how they want to vote,” Romney said, according to NPR.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said negotiators should be allowed to finish work on the bill before it’s put to a vote.
If Republicans block Wednesday’s procedural vote, it would likely set up days of intense debate in the Senate on the issue.
“No time is lost by adhering to a very simple principle, we are not going to the bill until we know what the bill is,” McConnell said, according to ABC News.
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