U.S. politics and policy updates
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The U.S. Senate will pass a $1 trillion package to invest in the crumbling infrastructure of the United States with the strong support of the Republican Party. This bipartisan vote will be seen as a major piece of legislation during Joe Biden’s young presidency. Achievement.
The senator closed the debate with 68 votes to 29 on Sunday evening. Infrastructure Act, The final vote will be held later on Monday or early Tuesday. Eighteen Republicans and Democrats worked together to clear procedural obstacles. This is a rare cross-channel display in the Senate. The two major political parties in the United States have serious differences at a ratio of 50 to 50.
A similar number of Senate Republicans may support the final passage of the bill, which focuses on so-called hard infrastructure, including $110 billion for roads, bridges and other major construction projects, and $66 billion for passenger and freight railroads And $39. Billion in other forms of public transportation.
Once the bill is passed by the Senate, it needs to be approved by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives before Biden can sign it into law.
When asked on Monday how close the senator was to the “finish line,” Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, who helped facilitate the deal, said: “It’s just around the corner.”
Portman, who was the first to reach the agreement with Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, told CNBC: “Based on the test voting in the past four or five days, it seems that we will have about 18 or 20 Republicans joining the ranks of the majority of Democrats. To pass it… This will be a major victory for both parties.”
Biden is a Democrat who has worked in the Senate for more than 30 years. When he ran for the White House, he promised to overcome political differences. But earlier this year, when the White House’s talks with a group of Republican senators led by West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito broke down, he developed a comprehensive infrastructure plan with Republican support. ’S early efforts encountered obstacles.
However, when a group of 10 congressmen — 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans including Portman and the cinema — reached an agreement in June, the fate was reversed, they said It will receive the support of at least 10 Republicans to pass the Senate’s 60 votes. Obstruction threshold. Their transactions have been supported by the White House, which has been working hard in recent weeks to inspire public support for these proposals.
Despite Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine the legislation, Republican support for the bill is still increasing, which is one of the first signs that the former president’s control of the party may be weakening.
Trump has repeatedly promised to promote aggressive infrastructure investment during his four years in the White House, but failed to make any specific recommendations. He is trying to exert influence in his party before the midterm elections next year, when the Senate and House of Representatives will have control. For contention.
The former president threatened on Saturday that if Republicans were “stupid enough to vote for this agreement,” he would refuse to support any Republicans. But this did not stop more than a dozen Republicans from voting for the legislation later on Sunday.
However, Republicans are still united in their opposition to the second major spending bill proposed by Biden and his Democratic allies. Congressional Democrats separately announced on Monday the details of their $3.5 trillion budget plan that they intend to use the Senate process to pass a settlement without Republican support.
The budget includes many progressive priorities that have been missed by the bipartisan infrastructure plan, such as expanding paid sick leave benefits and school programs for children under kindergarten age. It also includes tax increases for U.S. households with annual incomes of more than $400,000.
One thing that the budget proposal lacks is the provision to increase the debt ceiling, which is the maximum amount the US government can borrow through the issuance of bonds. This may trigger a new battle between Democrats and Republicans later this year, who have expressed opposition to increasing government borrowing.