Now that the text of the bipartisan infrastructure bill is out — all 2,702 pages of it — the Senate will race to finish consideration of the package this week ahead of a planned August recess that could still be delayed.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Sunday night that he expects the Senate to pass both the infrastructure bill and a budget resolution for fiscal year 2022 before lawmakers leave town. The budget resolution would set the stage for the next portion of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, a $3.5 trillion package focused on caregiving, health care, education and climate change.
“Let’s start voting on amendments,” Schumer urged his colleagues on Monday. “The longer it takes to finish the bill, the longer we’ll be here.
The Senate started considering amendments on Monday afternoon, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Monday that Democrats shouldn’t set up an “artificial timeline” for the amendment process. He called the infrastructure bill “a good and important jumping-off point for what needs to be a robust and bipartisan process” on the Senate floor. “Senators on both sides expect and deserve opportunities to have a say and put their own state’s imprints on this major bill,” he said.
GOP senators are still waiting on the Congressional Budget Office to score the legislation, which will provide an official estimate of how much of the bill is paid for. Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) reportedly estimated that the score would find just over half of the bill’s costs as being offset.
A number of senators are also expected to go to a funeral service on Friday for former Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), who died last week.