Senate expects to move forward with infrastructure bill on Sunday

US senators were expected to move forward on Sunday on a $1tn package for roads, rail lines and other infrastructure, with text of a bill due to be delivered.

The bipartisan group working on the text said it would be ready on Sunday, majority leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor on Saturday night.

A sizeable bipartisan majority in the 50-50 Senate has backed the bill in two votes, although no lawmakers have seen the final text. Votes have been on a shell bill that will incorporate the actual legislation once it is complete.

On Friday, the Senate voted 66-28 to take up the bill with 16 Republicans joining all 48 Democrats and two independents. The Senate convened a rare session on Saturday.

The massive infrastructure package is President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority.

In addition to $450bn previously approved, the package is expected to include $550bn in new spending and will dramatically ramp up expenditures on roads, bridges, transit and airports. It also includes money for scrapping lead water pipes and constructing electric vehicle charging stations.

Supporters, including Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell, have been optimistic about the bill’s chances of becoming law. But the bill does not include funding for climate change and social initiatives, for which the progressive flank of the Democratic party has pushed.

Democrats have included those measures in a separate $3.5tn package, which they will seek to pass without Republican support.

Progressives have also suggested the $1tn package is inadequate and the Senate could impose changes that potentially complicate its chances of becoming law.

Democrats’ majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives are razor-thin, requiring the party to stick together if it wants to achieve its legislative goals.


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