Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) on Monday evening finalized plans to hold a test vote Wednesday on the bipartisan infrastructure deal still in the works, nearly a month after that a group of senators and President Biden agreed on the framework. Wednesday’s vote “is not a deadline for determining all the final details of the bill,” Schumer said on Monday. “A whole yes vote on the motion to go ahead just means that the Senate is ready to start debating and amending a bipartisan infrastructure bill. No more, no less.”
Schumer’s test vote aims to pressure all 10 Senate negotiators to finalize their deal and test the sincerity of GOP negotiators, especially after Republicans vetoed increased funding for the implementation of the IRS tax evasion a key way to pay for the package. GOP chief negotiator Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said progress was being made and, like many GOP colleagues, threatened to vote no on Wednesday if the legislation is not on paper.
Schumer “won’t be 60, let’s put it that way,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RS.D.) said on Monday. “The legislation is not drafted, the pay-fors are far away.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Told reporters “we need to see the bill before we decide whether or not to vote for it.”
Despite GOP protests, holding a vote on unfinished legislation is “a proven strategy for both sides”, Politics Remarks. When McConnell was the majority leader, “Republicans launched their campaign to repeal ObamaCare by voting to consider an unwritten bill; In this Congress alone, senators from both parties brought forward hate crimes and competition legislation before it was completed.
“It will probably become clear in a few days whether back-and-forth is the usual last-minute haggling before a complex deal is made in Congress or something more worrying,” The Washington Post adds.
“If there is no finalized deal and the procedural vote fails, senators said they would continue to work on infrastructure legislation,” Politics said. And “if the bipartisan talks end up imploding completely, Democrats can incorporate the group’s work into their unilateral spending bill which is still being drafted, with a cost price of $ 3.5 trillion.” Schumer said his timeline, including Wednesday’s vote, was backed by the five Democrats negotiating the bipartisan package.
“I still believe Chuck has the right schedule,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). And if Wednesday’s vote fails, “what is it? Keep us here in August.”
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