Senate Eyes Saturday Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

It’s delayed, but the Senate could finally pass this thing by the weekend.

After optimism that the Senate could power through to a final vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday night, action hit a procedural snag. But the Senate will reconvene Saturday at noon.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune said, “Tonight, things just kind of got bogged down a little bit because there were a number of disagreements … And we’ve seen this before. I mean, it’s a frequent movie around here.”

In that, Thune echoes a new No Labels video pointing out that the extremes of both parties have been standing in the way of progress for years.

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, No Labels National Co-Chair Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) said, “This is something that Republicans and Democrats have talked about, really for decades, without ever accomplishing anything. We all know that with all the dysfunction and divisiveness in Washington, rarely ever do we find bipartisan compromise on an important issue, and on this one we have. No Labels didn’t just get behind this effort, we actually started the effort and crafted the current proposal that’s about to be passed in the Senate.”

The Congressional Budget Office, which is tasked with calculating the cost of legislation, said Thursday that the bill would add $256 billion to the federal deficit over a decade. But Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who introduced the bill, said the CBO was not able to consider revenue and savings offsets in its assessment.

And the bill remains broadly popular. Axios reports that a Data for Progress poll found that 71% of Americans support the bill, mirroring the 72% of residents of key congressional districts who backed the bill in our recent No Labels poll.

In an editorial, the Newark Star-Ledger says the Senate “has finally crafted a bipartisan bill that will begin the process of repairing” the nation’s infrastructure, but it “could face obstacles in the House,” where Speaker Pelosi has linked the bill to the $3.5 trillion climate and social spending bill — “a dubious, if not dangerous, strategy. … America’s big fix is just getting started. But it must start without further delay.”

The House should consider the bipartisan bill on its merits, and President Biden should press Democrats to get it done. Stephen Collinson of CNN writes, “A bipartisan bill signing ceremony at the White House would enable the President to tell voters that he had kept his word when most pundits and Washington politicians doubted he could overcome bitter political divides.”

A USA Today editorial calls the bill “no small achievement. … Does it mean bipartisanship is back? Not by a long shot. But it means it’s possible.”

Also:

·       In The Hill, Ira Shapiro praises Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for her “persistent bipartisanship,” writing, “From her arrival, Collins has tried to help recreate the Senate in which she came of age: a Senate based on trust and mutual respect, which could legislate through principled compromise and bipartisanship.”

·       The Hill: Problem Solvers Caucus member Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) led a group of bipartisan lawmakers in introducing “legislation intended to help the federal government better track and analyze cyber crime.”

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