WASHINGTON – Republicans voted on Wednesday to prevent the Senate from starting debate on an infrastructure proposal, saying they wanted more time to finalize the details of the deal.
But that doesn’t mean the deal is dead.
Biparty group insists it is nearing the finish line on how to fund the $ 579 billion package, even as Democrats and Republicans disagree on whether to start officially the review in the Senate.
The procedural motion failed 49-51, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passing his vote “no” at the end to preserve his ability to call the same vote on another day. The motion needed 60 to be successful.
The New York Democrat said the vote was only a first step, noting that there is precedent for the Senate to formally debate a bill that is not finalized. He said it was “not a deadline to sort out all the final details” or “an attempt to confuse anyone”.
Schumer called for a vote on a bet to pressure the bipartisan group to finish its job. He hopes to vote on the infrastructure deal before a month-long hiatus in August and start introducing a $ 3.5 trillion budget bill to address President Joe Biden’s other economic policies based on the line. party.
“Around here, we usually draft bills before we vote on them. It is customary,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky said. “Of course, here in the Senate, a failed closing vote doesn’t mean no forever.”
McConnell has been silent on the negotiations and has not said whether he supports the framework, which was negotiated by five Democrats and five Republicans and approved by President Joe Biden nearly a month ago. His position could affect whether he gets the required minimum of 10 GOP votes.
Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the negotiating group, suggested the deal could move forward on Monday.
“This vote should not take place today,” Collins told reporters hours before the vote. “We are making huge progress, and I hope the majority leader will reconsider and simply delay the vote until Monday. This is not a big request from him.”
Collins said the group was in contact with the Congressional Budget Office, the official scorer responsible for evaluating the legislation, to make sure the numbers add up.