Democrats Finalizing Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

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Chuck Schumer said warned the latest stimulus package would likely not be passed for several weeks
Chuck Schumer said warned the latest stimulus package would likely not be passed for several weeks AFP / Mandel NGAN

Top Democratic senators continue to push for a bipartisan infrastructure deal that includes $600 billion in new spending. 

Most of the bill has been finalized but Democrats and Republicans are still negotiating funding for highways, bridges, water infrastructure, transit, broadband, and whether unused COVID-19 relief funds can pay for the new investment. The bill also requires contractors and subcontractors working on a federally funded contract to be paid no less than the locally prevailing wage

The bill failed an initial test vote last week when all 50 Republicans voted against the bill because they wanted to see the full details of the plan.

According to Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, negotiations are “about 90% of the way there.” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., expects a deal to be reached by Monday afternoon.

The bill needs at least 10 Republican votes and all 50 votes from Democrats. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he wants to use the bipartisan deal as a blueprint for a much larger and more ambitious package totaling $3.5 trillion that would require reconciliation. The plan would expand Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing. It would also fund healthcare, childcare, education, and combat climate change. 

“The bottom line is we’re working on both parts. Progress is being made on the bipartisan infrastructure plan and a larger $3.5 trillion package,” Schumer said

Both measures are considered a vital part of President Biden’s economic agenda. Schumer says he has “every intention” of passing both plans and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she won’t let either come to vote in the House until they do.

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