Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will play hardball with the Senate’s attempt at a “bipartisan infrastructure” package, forcing a vote next week on the “bipartisan” and purely partisan bills, yet a bill has not been introduced.
Schumer will force a vote on the “bipartisan” plan next Wednesday. He’s using this as a tactic to push President Joe Biden’s radical plan before the August recess, which the majority leader has already threatened to cancel if a deal is not passed.
“Everyone has been having productive conversations, and it’s important to keep the two-track process moving,” Schumer said Thursday on the Senate floor during a speech. “All parties involved in the bipartisan infrastructure bill talks must now finalize their agreement so that the Senate can begin considering that legislation next week.”
However, Schumer also mentions he will set the same deadline for the Democrats’ partisan “infrastructure” package. The Democrats are also trying to add a reconciliation package that will act as a trojan horse to jam more radical parts of their agenda in the bill.
Language is yet to be introduced for either of the plans, which also will take time to prepare and negotiate. Schumer’s plan could potentially force a vote on two bills that have not been read fully by any group before the vote.
The 22 senators working on the “bipartisan” package are set to meet again on Thursday. Schumer’s plan will bring added pressure to the group. As Politico reports, some members need to resolve key disagreements on paying for the plan. Reportedly the group made headway on the negotiations, but there are still questions on spending which have not been answered.
Schumer will take the first steps toward moving the bipartisan physical infrastructure proposal Monday, using a House bill as a legislative vehicle that would later be amended to reflect the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal. Even if a deal is clinched and the Senate votes to move ahead on the bill next week, it will likely take days or even weeks to finish its work on the bipartisan legislation because of intense desire to vote on amendments to a bill likely to win Biden’s signature.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also attempted to hold the bills hostage. In the past, Pelosi said the House would not take up the “bipartisan infrastructure” package until “the Senate passes a budget setting up the $3.5 trillion social spending package.”
There is still no guarantee the “bipartisan” package will pass, either way because they need to get ten Republicans on board with the deal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has not weighed in on the plan, as he is hoping members can make their own judgment and view it away from the Democrats’ partisan plan.
Some Republicans worried about the bill’s financing are waiting to hear from the Congressional Budget Office to find out the office’s official score, which cannot happen until the text is complete. Until then, some key votes on the bill are still in limbo.