A $1.2 trillion proposal aimed at overhauling the United States’ aging roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure will not be halted by a Senate filibuster, after lawmakers voted to advance the bill early Saturday afternoon, even as questions remain about what will be included in the bill’s final version.
The Senate voted 67-27 to end debate on the bill, with 18 Republicans joining the Democratic majority, meaning a vote on the bill’s final passage could come this weekend.
The vote was a critical but largely expected step, and sets up what’s expected to be a lengthy Saturday for lawmakers as they negotiate over potential last-minute amendments to the bill.
Conservative Republicans have especially taken issue with the cost of the bill and the claims from bill authors Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that future economic gains by themselves will be enough to cover the cost of the package.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Saturday that he expects the Senate to take votes on proposed amendments, like one from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that seeks to recoup money set aside for state and local coronavirus relief funding to pay for the bill.
$256 billion. That’s how much the bill would add to the U.S. budget deficit over the next 10 years, according to an estimate released by the Congressional Budget Office on Thursday. Adding to the deficit is among Republicans’ top concerns about the bill.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.