Infrastructure Bill Comes to Grinding Halt After Amendment Fight

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news briefing after a weekly Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Senate Democrats held a weekly policy luncheon to discuss the Democratic agenda. (Photo by …
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) effort to have the Senate vote on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure fell apart Thursday night after many lawmakers objected.

Schumer wanted to expedite the Senate floor proceedings that could have led to a quick passage of the bill on Saturday; however, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) said that he could not consent to the bill’s advancement because of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) dismal score of the mammoth, 2,702-page legislation.

“We very much want to finish this important bill, so we will reconvene Saturday at noon to vote [to overcome a filibuster], and then we will follow regular order to finish the bill,” Schumer said Thursday.

A spokesman for Hagerty said the senator “cannot in good conscience agree to expedite a process immediately after the CBO confirmed that the bill would add over a quarter of a trillion dollars to the deficit.”

The CBO found that the infrastructure bill would add $256 billion to the deficit, the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn-Wharton Budget Model found that the bill would have no “significant” impact on economic growth.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) also proposed an amendment to compete with Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) proposal to address Portman’s original $30 billion cryptocurrency tax. Lawmakers and industry officials called Portman’s amendment “disastrous” for the digital asset community.

President Joe Biden came out in favor of the Portman amendment; a Senate GOP aide told Breitbart News that the Treasury Department has been lobbying hard in favor of the Portman amendment.

The proceedings also came up for a time crunch as many Senate Republicans plan to fly to Wyoming Friday for the late Sen. Mike Enzi’s (R-WY) funeral Friday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said earlier Thursday that the Senate needs to process many amendments to the large infrastructure bill.

“Once they are, we’ll be able to wind things down,” McConnell said.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), one of the chief sponsors of the infrastructure bill, said that she hopes to make progress on the infrastructure bill Saturday.

Sinema said:

While we weren’t able to agree on additional amendments today, I also look forward to us reconvening on Saturday and proceeding under regular order to finish what will be historic legislation both in its bipartisan nature and the impact it will have on this country.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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