Republicans in the Senate on Wednesday prevented the debate on the infrastructure plan, arguing that they needed more time to work out the details of the deal.
However, That doesn’t mean the deal is over.
The bipartisan group of lawmakers insists they are about to reach a pact on how to finance the $ 579 billion package, even though Democrats and Republicans did not agree on Wednesday to bring the measure to the full Senate.
Procedural motion failed 49-51, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, ended up voting against to be able to call another day for the same vote, which needs 60 votes to be successful.
The group of 22 senators working on the deal, led by Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said after the vote that “Significant progress has been made and we are close to a final agreement”.
“We will continue to work hard to ensure this critical piece of legislation is done the right way. We are optimistic that we will get it done and that we will be prepared to move forward on this historic bipartisan proposal to strengthen America’s infrastructure and create high-paying jobs.” they added.
Schumer claimed that the vote was simply a first step, noting that a bill that was not yet finished has been voted on in the past. This “was not a deadline for all the final details to be resolved” or “an attempt to block anyone,” he said.
He explained that the decision to call the vote is part of a strategy to pressure the bipartisan group to speed up negotiations. But actually expects to approve the infrastructure package after the August holidays, when will also start working to approve President Joe Biden’s $ 3.5 Trillion Plan, which must have the endorsement of the 50 Democratic senators so that it can be approved without Republican support through a special legislative procedure.
“Here, we normally write bills before we vote on them. That’s the custom.”said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. “Of course, here in the Senate, a failed vote on a motion to close the debate does not mean a final rejection.”
McConnell has been reserved and has not said if he supports the framework of the agreement reached by the five Democratic senators and the five Republicans, which already has the support of Biden since a month ago. What you think may define whether Democrats get the 10 Republican votes they need.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the negotiating group, suggested the deal could move forward next Monday.
“This vote should not be done today”Collins told reporters hours before the measure was voted on. “We have made a lot of progress, so I hope the Majority Leader will reconsider and just postpone the vote until Monday. It is not much to ask of him.”
Collins also assured that the group has been in contact with the Congressional Budget Office, the entity in charge of evaluating legislative proposals, to make sure that the plan’s accounts are balanced.