UPDATED 8:13 AM PT – Thursday, July 29, 2021
The Senate passed a procedural vote to advance a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package. In a 67-to-32 vote Wednesday, the Senate reached bipartisan support to move forward on the bill after weeks of no progress.
“The Senate has just come together and, in a strong bipartisan fashion, voted to begin the legislative process here on the Senate floor,” stated Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
With late GOP support coming after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced he would show his support, 17 Republicans voted ‘yes’ to proceed with debates on the bill’s specific details.
“We’ve done something on a bipartisan basis; it’s the way Washington should work,” stated Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). “It’s the way America expects us to work and I’m confident that we will be able to get it across the finish line.”
While there’s still a lot of work to be done until the bill reaches a final vote, lawmakers within both political parties are confident a deal will be reached in the near future. That’s according to the GOP’s lead negotiator, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
“We have reached agreement as I said on the major issues, so we still have legislative language and finalize,” said Portman. “We look forward to moving ahead and having the opportunity to have a healthy debate here in the chamber, regarding incredibly important projects that the American people would like to have my colleagues.”
As of now, the deal includes funding for the nation’s roads, bridges, public transportation, electric buses and clean drinking water among other items.
In a statement, Joe Biden wrote:
“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver and do big things. As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway, we will, once again, transform America and propel us into the future.”
In the meantime, some Republicans are still hesitant to show their support while arguing that until the bill is actually written and they have an opportunity to review its details, they will not vote for it. The 45th president has also been a heavy critic of the deal. He recently blasted the 17 Republican senators who voted in favor of the infrastructure bargain.
In a statement released Wednesday, Donald Trump blamed the GOP lawmakers for negotiating a deal with “radical left Democrats.” He said the move makes the Republicans look “weak, foolish and dumb.”
President Trump warns GOP NOT to accept “infrastructure” bill negotiated by RINOs! pic.twitter.com/kM5ZYxseGC
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) July 28, 2021
The 45th president went on to say the so-called bipartisan bill will be “continued destruction for our country.” He then warned the Republicans who cooperated with the left that they will be facing lots of primary challenges in the near future.