July 28, 2021

Senators and Biden Aides Struggle to Save Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

Still, on Monday evening Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, set up a procedural vote to begin moving toward debate on the bipartisan deal, even without the text of the plan, on Wednesday. Mr. Schumer said that if senators agreed to consider infrastructure legislation, he would move to bring up either the bipartisan deal, should one materialize this week, or a series of individual infrastructure bills that have been approved on a bipartisan basis by Senate committees.

The plan was an effort to force negotiators to move toward finalizing details and a critical mass of Republicans to commit to advancing the deal, with Democrats eager to advance the legislation before the Senate leaves for its August recess. Mr. Schumer said he had support from the five main Democratic negotiators involved in talks.

“It is not a deadline to determine every final detail of the bill,” he said. A vote of support on Wednesday, he added, would signal that “the Senate is ready to begin debating and amending a bipartisan infrastructure bill.”

On Monday, Mr. Biden pushed for passage of the agreement during remarks at the White House, where he promoted his administration’s economic progress. But administration officials made clear later in the day that their patience for the finalization of the bipartisan agreement was running thin.

“We believe it’s time to move forward with this vote — with congressional action,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said at a news briefing. Asked what the administration’s backup plan was if the plan failed to clear the test vote, Ms. Psaki demurred.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/19/business/economy/bipartisan-infrastructure-deal.html

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