The U.S. Senate at a rare Saturday session on an infrastructure bill worth $ 1 trillion


U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) (L) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) (R) answer reporters’ questions during a press conference following a procedural vote for a bipartisan infrastructure framework in the Senate office of the Dirksen Building on July 28, 2021 at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong | Getty Images

The U.S. Senate in a rare session on Saturday worked on a bill that would spend $ 1 trillion on roads, railroads and other infrastructure as lawmakers on both sides sought to promote the president Joe Biden highest legislative priority.

The ambitious plan has the equal support of Democrats and Republicans and has already removed two obstacles by a large margin in the narrowly divided Senate.

But so far no lawmaker has seen the final text of the bill, which includes about $ 550 billion in new spending, and which is still being written on Saturday. Earlier votes were for the shell to which the law will be added once it is completed.

“Once the bipartisan group completes the legislative text, I will offer it as a replacement amendment,” the top Democrat in the Senate Chuck Schumer he said on Saturday.

The Senate will advance in both directions of infrastructure before the break begins in August. The longer it takes us to finish, the longer we’ll be here. But we will get the job done. “

After adopting a $ 1 trillion bill, Schumer intends to advance in a comprehensive $ 3.5 trillion package focusing on climate change and home care for the elderly and children. It faces stiff Republican opposition and some disagreement among moderate Democrats.

The Senate voted 66-28 on Friday to pass the law, with 16 Republicans joining all 48 Democrats and two independents supporting it.

The package would dramatically increase national spending on roads, bridges, transit and airports. Supporters predicted that the Senate and the House of Representatives would eventually pass, and that they would eventually reach Biden’s table to sign it.

It includes about $ 550 billion in new spending, on top of the previously approved $ 450 billion. It also includes money for the removal of lead water pipes and the construction of charging stations for electric vehicles.

The law does not include funding for most climate change and social initiatives that Democrats intend to adopt in a separate $ 3.5 trillion measure without Republican support.

Democrats hold a sharp margin in the Senate and House of Representatives, meaning the party must stick together to achieve its legislative goals.

Progressive members of the Democratic House caucus have already suggested that the $ 1 trillion package is inadequate, and the Senate could also impose changes that would complicate its chances of becoming law.

But supporters, including Schumer and the leader of the Republican Senate Mitch McConnell, were optimistic about their prospects.


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