Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Moves Toward Senate Passage

The bipartisan infrastructure bill is moving toward passage in the Senate. It’s just not clear when the final vote will happen.

A final vote could come this weekend, though Punchbowl predicts “sometime Monday or Tuesday.” Majority Leader Schumer must first call for a cloture vote, ending the current process of considering amendments. Little is expected to happen Friday, since some senators will be in Wyoming for the funeral of Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY). Then, it’s on to another working weekend.

Today’s big story: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office will release its cost estimates of the bill, and Reuters reports that “multiple Republican senators have said their support for the bill will hinge on whether it contains enough new revenue-generating measures to cover its costs.”

But even that should not impact the odds of passage. The AP says that even Minority Leader McConnell is “sounding like a go” on the infrastructure bill.

This bill is something almost everyone wants. A new Quinnipiac poll shows 65% of Americans back the bill, while just 28% oppose it. And as Politico reports, “labor and business leaders” have joined together in “a Twitter campaign to keep up the pressure on lawmakers as they debate amendments to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill,” launching the hashtag #BIFDeal. No Labels is part of this campaign too.

Bloomberg reports that the White House is trying to win over fence sitters by pointing out the benefits to respective states, noting that California and Texas “are in line for more than $25 billion each to rebuild their highways” if the bill passes. The White House also released a list of the “Top 10 Programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act That You May Not Have Heard About.”

It was bipartisan cooperation that got us this far. NPR says that to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), “bipartisanship is the way Washington should work.” Sinema said, “We know that the American people are asking for us to take action. What they don't want to see is us sit on our hands, waiting until we get every single thing that we want. …  That all-or-nothing approach usually leaves you with nothing.”

Roll Call writes that for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who formally introduced the bill with Sinema, “forging the deal along with a group of 21 senators…is proof that Congress can still embrace the art of the deal.”

Whether the bill passes this week or next, the NYT says a “slow path awaits in the House,” where Speaker Pelosi has vowed not to “take up the infrastructure bill until the Senate passes a separate package that addresses more liberal priorities.” The WaPo reminds us that Pelosi is facing an “energized left wing on top of [a] razor-thin House margin.”

That means it will be all the more important for supporters of two-party solutions to stick together.

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