A bipartisan group of Senate negotiators reached a deal Wednesday evening, resulting in a chamber vote deciding to advance the bill through to its final vote in the coming days.
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The procedural motion was voted by the Senate 67-32, above the 60 required. This motion allows legislative action to begin, and was pushed through with 17 Republicans joining all Democrats voting yes on the vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) was one of the notable Republicans who backed the notion.
The bill, now the $1.2 trillion “Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework,” is the result of the Biden administration’s original American Jobs Plan. The first draft of the infrastructure deal came in the form of a more expensive, more expansive plan that was met with immediate pushback by legislators and roadblocks. Although the Biden administration claims the Framework invests two-third of the resources that the President proposed in his American Jobs Plan, the roughly $800 billion gap between the two plans has some clear commissions.
One of the largest initiatives that negotiators removed from the bill was funding allocated to schools, housing and VA hospitals. The new Framework deal does not include funding towards these initiatives, which would have seen programs like workplace initiatives and workforce development, upgrades to VA hospitals and assistance for low-income housing included.
As per the White House, the bipartisan negotiation still includes:
- $110 billion for roads, bridges and other major projects
- $11 billion in transportation safety programs
- $39 billion in transit modernization and improved accessibility
- $66 billion in rail
- $7.5 billion to build a national network of electric vehicle chargers
- $73 billion in power infrastructure and clean energy transmission
NPR reports that, separately, the Democrats in the Senate continue to try to get an agreement on a $3.5 trillion spending package that still includes the President’s “human infrastructure,” including an extension of the child tax credit and health care programs.
The Framework will advance to its final vote either later this week or early next week.
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Last updated: July 29, 2021