Schumer Presses For Weekend Infrastructure Bill After a Single Republican Derailed Vote

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled a Saturday vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal after a single Republican derailed the chamber’s attempt to fast-track the legislation on Thursday, Politico reports.

Senators from both parties put the final touches on the bill Thursday to speed up its final passage but Tennessee Republican Bill Hagerty refused to sign off after “intense pressure from Republican colleagues,” according to the report.

Schumer said the bill encountered “numerous objections” to amendments on the bill and will attempt to move forward with the legislation over the weekend.

Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to defeat a filibuster and pass the bill.

"We very much want to finish this important bill, so we will reconvene Saturday at noon to vote [to overcome a filibuster] and then we will follow regular order to finish the bill," Schumer said.

Cost becomes new wrinkle:

The vote came after the Congressional Budget Office issued an analysis undercutting senators’ claims that the bill is fully funded.

While negotiators used what economists described as “budget gimmicks” to cover the cost of the $550 billion in new funds, the CBO said the plan only paid for about $300 billion, meaning that it would add over $250 billion to the deficit.

A spokesman for Hagerty told Politico that the senator "cannot in good conscience agree to expedite a process immediately after the CBO confirmed that the bill would add over a quarter of a trillion dollars to the deficit."

Senators from both parties have argued that the CBO analysis does not include economic growth estimates that they say will come from the infrastructure investments.

Democrats hope to move to budget bill:

Democrats are hoping to immediately move on to their $3.5 trillion budget bill immediately after the bipartisan bill is approved in the Senate.

"Everybody understands that right behind this is going to be the budget. And I don't think anybody is looking to extend this out any longer than necessary," Republican Senator John Cornyn told Politico.

Democrats can pass the budget bill with a simple majority using the reconciliation process but senators like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have bristled at the price tag, which was a compromise deal for progressives who called for over $6 trillion in funding.

Meanwhile, progressives in the House have threatened to derail the bipartisan bill unless they get full funding for the budget bill in the Senate.


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