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Senate negotiators rush to complete infrastructure bill as failed vote looms

Schumer also offered the bipartisan group more time to negotiate, if Senate Republicans agree to go ahead on Wednesday. If cross-cutting legislation is not completed by Thursday, Schumer said the Senate could consider elements of the underlying infrastructure framework that have already been passed by key committees.

But that likely won’t appease Republicans, many of whom want to see congressional non-partisan budget marker cost estimates before they vote to start debate.

“We are waiting for a [Congressional Budget Office] Goal. We don’t have a leg text. So until we do, I’m not comfortable voting on procedural motions going forward, ”said Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), One senators working on the package.

Still, Young added that he hoped Wednesday’s vote didn’t kill bipartisan negotiations, saying “it would be a shame to throw everything away.”

Schumer’s push to push forward the bipartisan infrastructure framework comes as Senate Democrats also prepare a $ 3.5 trillion social spending plan that they expect to push forward without GOP membership. Schumer also set a deadline Wednesday for Senate Democrats to come to an agreement detailing how the committees will build this bill.

It is not clear whether the failure of the bipartisan agreement would result in a $ 3.5 trillion price increase for the separate bill.

Schumer has long insisted that President Joe Biden’s physical infrastructure and social spending plans unfold on two separate tracks. Biden and a bipartisan group of 10 senators announced an agreement on an infrastructure framework in June, but translating it into law has proven difficult.

Texas Senator John Cornyn, a Republican close to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said the vote would still fail Wednesday despite Schumer’s pleas: “How could he expect us to vote on a draft? law that does not even exist yet. “

Meanwhile, progressives and leading House Democrats are growing impatient with bipartisan talks, with some even saying they hope the deal fails. In a meeting with House Democrats on Tuesday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi hammered on Senate Republicans and accused them of trying to derail bipartisan talks.

“The public should know that they reject a bipartisan infrastructure approach,” Pelosi told members, according to people familiar with the words.

Pelosi also suggested that the House could amend any bipartisan bill passed by the Senate, a potential response to growing unrest among some top Democrats in his caucus. “When we receive the bill from the Senate, we may want to amend it,” said the speaker.

And while Schumer insisted the vote was not a watershed moment for bipartisan Senate talks, some progressives don’t see it that way.

“They’re trying to bring everyone together, but if that doesn’t happen, we’ll have to move forward,” Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters.

Sarah Ferris contributed.

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