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Republican senators prolong discussions on infrastructure package

2021-07-21T22:35:46.368Z

Although opposition senators refused to take the measure to plenary, the bipartisan group working on the agreement said they are getting closer to finalizing the details of how the $ 579 billion plan will be financed.



By Sahil Kapur, Julie Tsirkin and Frank Thorp V - NBC News

Republicans in the Senate prevented debate on the infrastructure plan from starting on Wednesday, arguing that they needed more time to work out the details of the deal.

However,

that doesn't mean the deal is over.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers insists they are about to reach a pact on how to finance the $ 579 billion package, even though Democrats and Republicans did not agree on Wednesday to bring the measure to the full Senate.

["We have created more than 3 million jobs": Biden boasts of employment figures, but omits important data]

The procedural motion failed 49-51

, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, ended up voting against it in order to call another day for the same vote, which needs 60 votes to succeed.

The group of 22 senators working on the agreement, led by Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, and Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said after the vote that

"significant progress has been made and we are close to a final agreement

.

"

"We will continue to work hard to ensure this critical piece of legislation is done the right way. We are optimistic that we will get it done and that we will be prepared to move forward on this historic bipartisan proposal to strengthen America's infrastructure and create high-paying jobs." they added.

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Schumer asserted that the vote was simply a first step, noting that a bill that was not yet finished has been voted on in the past. This "was not a deadline for all the final details to be resolved" or "an attempt to block anyone," he said.

He explained that the decision to call the vote is part of a strategy to pressure the bipartisan group to speed up negotiations.

But he actually

hopes to approve the infrastructure package after the August break

, when he will also begin work to pass President Joe Biden's $ 3.5 trillion plan, which will need to have the backing of all 50 Democratic senators for it to can be approved without republican support through a special legislative procedure.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the failed vote on the infrastructure package on July 21, 2021. AP

"Here, we normally write bills before we vote on them. That's the custom,"

said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

"Of course, here in the Senate, a failed vote on a motion to close the debate does not mean a final rejection."

McConnell has been reserved and has not said whether he supports the framework of the agreement reached by the five Democratic senators and the five Republicans, which has already had Biden's support for a month.

What you think may define whether Democrats get the 10 Republican votes they need.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the negotiating group, suggested the deal could move forward next Monday.

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"This vote should not be done today

," Collins told reporters hours before the measure was voted on.

"We have made a lot of progress, so I hope the Majority Leader will reconsider and just postpone the vote until Monday. It is not much to ask of him."

Collins also assured that the group has been in contact with the Congressional Budget Office, the entity in charge of evaluating legislative proposals, to make sure that the plan's accounts are balanced.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-07-21

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