US Senate Considering Massive Infrastructure Measure

The U.S. Senate is meeting in a rare Sunday session in an attempt to advance legislation calling for about $1 trillion in infrastructure spending to fix the country’s deteriorating roads and bridges and construct broadband service nationwide.Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate majority leader, hopes to have the text of the more than 2,500-page measure completed to present to lawmakers so they can begin to offer amendments and vote on a final bill in the coming days.The package, which also calls for more passenger rail and public transit funding in addition to replacement of lead-piped drinking water systems in the United States, was negotiated between the administration of President Joe Biden and a group of centrist Republican and Democratic senators.The collection of infrastructure spending, including $550 billion in new allocations, is something of a rarity in Washington — a potential bipartisan deal in a fractious political environment where Republicans and Democrats remain divided on a host of other issues.One of the negotiators of the pact, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, told CNN’s “State of the Union” show, “We really are just about finished.”The measure has already cleared preliminary procedural votes with unified Democratic support and more than 15 Republicans in favor in the politically divided 100-member Senate.Collins said the legislation might win Senate approval by the end of the week and that ultimately 10 or more Republicans would join Democrats in support, enough to clear the 60-vote super-majority needed to thwart any attempt to block it with a legislative filibuster.Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, takes an escalator from the Senate subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 30, 2021.The measure would then go the House of Representatives, where some progressive lawmakers have complained that the infrastructure package is not big enough. Potential final congressional approval could be weeks away.“This bill is good for America,” Collins said.The package is one of Biden’s biggest legislative priorities, an attempt six months into his presidency to prove to voters that the White House and Congress can reach bipartisan agreement on some issues.Brian Deese, the director of Biden’s National Economic Council, told the “Fox News Sunday” show, that the new infrastructure spending amounted to “badly needed investments in our country.”The White House is predicting that the spending could annually add two million new jobs, mostly in the construction trades, for the next decade.Included in the package is $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transit and $66 billion for rail. Fifty-five billion dollars is allocated for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure as well as billions for airports, ports, broadband internet and electric vehicle charging stations. 

wwwcost ads

leave a reply: