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Bipartisan group of senators unveils $1 trillion infrastructure bill after marathon negotiations

Bipartisan group of senators unveils $1 trillion infrastructure bill after marathon negotiations
After an 11th-hour effort, a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators announced that they finalized a mammoth infrastructure bill, which includes $550 billion in new spending. The bill now heads to the Senate floor.

The group of “moderate” Republicans and Democrats, tasked with ironing out differences so that a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package can be passed, announced on Sunday that the legislative text of the bill was ready.

The 2,702-page document, if approved, would see $550 billion in new funding earmarked to building and upgrading roads, public transit, rails, bridges, water infrastructure, the electric grid, as well as improving internet access. The funds would be disbursed over five years. 

After introducing the much-maligned legislation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sounded optimistic, suggesting that the package could be passed within a “matter of days.” 

“Given how bipartisan the bill is and how much work has already been put in to get the details right, I believe the Senate can quickly process relevant amendments,” he said.

The text of the bill has been long in the works after the plan to invest over a trillion dollars in infrastructure was hammered out in June. It’s not clear, however, if the bill will sail through the chamber as suggested by Schumer, as it may face opposition from those outside of the bipartisan group. 

Some have already expressed reservations. Republican Senator Mike Lee has said he has “real concerns” about the bill and insists on studying the text first.

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Republicans have also sounded the alarm about the Democrats’ intention to ram through a much bigger spending proposal using a mechanism known as ‘reconciliation’, which requires a simple majority of votes. President Joe Biden previously signaled that he won’t sign the infrastructure bill if it is not accompanied by a $3.5 trillion package, which would include immigration legislation, enabling some migrants that are in the US illegally to obtain citizenship.

While some Republicans cried foul over the Democrats’ plan to push the giant social spending package through the chamber, Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) argued that there was no point in protesting “the monstrosity,” suggesting the GOP resign itself to the inevitable.

“If you don’t think our Democrat friends are going to push for that monstrosity with or without this bill then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. They’re going to push for that anyway,” Romney said.

Schumer again reiterated his plans on Sunday to immediately start working on the reconciliation package after the budget bill is passed.

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