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Senate votes to start debate on bipartisan infrastructure package
How do you feel about the bipartisan infrastructure debate?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- The Senate on Wednesday voted 67-32 to start debate on the bipartisan infrastructure framework after senators agreed to use legislation negotiated by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) as the underlying bill on which amendments will be debated.
- The new version of the bipartisan package includes $550 billion in new spending, down from $578 billion in the original framework; along with $589 billion in offsets, a slight increase from $584 billion in the initial outline. The Portman-Sinema agreement is expected to be finalized as legislative text in the near future.
- Wednesday’s vote comes one week after the Senate failed to advance past the motion to start initial procedural debate along party-lines because much of the legislative text was still being negotiated.
What’s next for the package?
- The Senate’s successful vote to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed allows it to begin initial debate and consider amendments to the underlying bill.
- From here, the process will likely take several days as amendments are proposed, debated, and voted on.
- It’s unclear how soon the first amendment votes will be. Similarly, it’s yet to be announced whether the Senate intends to work through the weekend to make progress on the bill, or whether it will break for the weekend and reconvene next week.
- Before the Senate can vote on passage of the bill, it will need to surpass the 60 vote threshold again to invoke cloture on the underlying bill (e.g. the Portman-Sinema substitute amendment) as amended by the Senate. Amendments will also be subject to the 60 vote threshold, so the bipartisan group of senators still has its work cut out for it in shepherding the package to the finish line.
(Photo Credit: Capitol: ttarasiuk via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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