A procedural vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan was expected to fail on Wednesday in the Senate, as Republicans seek more time to negotiate on the public-works spending proposal.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, set the test vote in hopes of beginning debate on the legislation, which is still being written. But Republicans, whose votes are needed to advance the measure, said they’d oppose moving forward without more details on its contents and how it would be paid for.
Democrats need the support of at least 10 Republicans to reach the 60-vote threshold to advance the infrastructure deal.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Schumer said a bipartisan group was “close to finishing their product” on infrastructure and argued lawmakers should be comfortable moving forward.
Republicans indicated they are not.
“We’re just not ready,” Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, told CNBC on Wednesday morning. “It’s going to take a little more time.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in remarks on the floor, “around here, we typically write the bills before we vote on them. That’s the custom.”
Some Republicans, including Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, were pressing to delay the vote until Monday to give negotiators more time to reach a deal.
Schumer on Tuesday declined to comment on whether he would bring the infrastructure bill up again if the procedural vote fails Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, has said if the infrastructure deal falls apart, he wants to include it in a bigger package Democrats are aiming to pass along party lines.
package is one element of President Joe Biden’s massive economic agenda, which also includes a plan to spend $3.5 trillion on education, climate resiliency and support for families.
Biden pressed for both measures in a speech on Monday, pushing back against critics who say his plans are spurring inflation.
on Wednesday opened higher, extending a bounce from a selloff that started the week as investors played down worries over the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and took comfort in upbeat earnings reports.