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U.S. Senate in rare Saturday session on $1 trln infrastructure bill

EconomyJul 31, 2021 10:25PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy from the White House in Washington, U.S. July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo 2/2

By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Senate in a rare Saturday session worked on a bill that would spend $1 trillion on roads, rail lines and other infrastructure, as lawmakers from both parties sought to advance President Joe Biden's top legislative priority.

The ambitious plan has the backing of Democrats and Republicans alike and has already cleared two hurdles by broad margins in the closely divided Senate.

But so far lawmakers have not seen the final text of the bill, which includes about $550 billion in new spending and was still being written on Saturday. Earlier votes were for a shell bill that will incorporate the actual legislation once it is complete.

U.S. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor that the bipartisan group working on the legislation needed additional time.

"The staffs are still working and say they will have the final legislative text ready tomorrow," Schumer said on Saturday night.

"When the legislative text is ready, I will offer it as the substitute amendment and after that, we can begin voting on amendments," the top Senate Democrat said.

After passing the $1 trillion bill, Schumer aims to push forward on a sweeping $3.5 trillion package that focuses on climate change and home care for the elderly and children. That faces staunch Republican opposition and some dissent among moderate Democrats.

"The Senate is going to move forward on both tracks of infrastructure before the beginning of the August recess. The longer it takes to finish, the longer we'll be here. But we're going to get the job done," Schumer said earlier on Saturday.

The Senate voted 66-28 on Friday to take up the bill, with 16 Republicans joining all 48 Democrats and two independents in support.

The package would dramatically increase the nation's spending on roads, bridges, transit and airports. Supporters predicted it will ultimately pass the Senate and House of Representatives, eventually reaching Biden's desk for him to sign it into law.

It includes about $550 billion in new spending, on top of $450 billion that was previously approved. It also includes money for eliminating lead water pipes and building electric vehicle charging stations.

The bill does not include funding for most climate change and social initiatives that Democrats aim to pass in the separate $3.5 trillion measure without Republican support.

Democrats hold razor-thin margins in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, meaning the party must stick together to achieve its legislative goals.

Progressive (NYSE:PGR) members of the House Democratic caucus have already suggested the $1 trillion package is inadequate, and the Senate could likewise impose changes that could complicate its chances of becoming law.

But supporters, including Schumer and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been optimistic about its prospects.

U.S. Senate in rare Saturday session on $1 trln infrastructure bill
 

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Comments (29)
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Aug 01, 2021 8:19AM ET
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Could they have possibly found a more beatific photo of St. Joseph of Biden? The patron Saint of senile incompetent bumbling old preverts
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Aug 01, 2021 2:30AM ET
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How much money is actually spend on infrastructure? Maybe 30%?
Jon Bal
Jon Bal Aug 01, 2021 12:45AM ET
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btw..a trillion is a 1 with 15 zeros
Jon Bal
Jon Bal Aug 01, 2021 12:17AM ET
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i suddenly found my new calling: govt. contractor
Dan Hodel
Dan Hodel Aug 01, 2021 12:17AM ET
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You’re 20 years behind. Signed, 18 year federal contractor operator.
my name
my name Jul 31, 2021 10:38PM ET
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stupid government want to keep money printing while banksters are already out of collateral (stuff to buy) and are forced to reverse repo, which reached $1 TRILLION yesterday!!!
Me comment
Me comment Jul 31, 2021 10:38PM ET
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another uneducated trump supporter showing his non-understanding of what reverse repos are actually being used for.
my name
my name Jul 31, 2021 10:38PM ET
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Me comment  another rad1cal left dem0ncrat thinks that $1 TRILLION in reverse repo is OK & does not know at all how economy works.
Raymond Huggard
Raymond Huggard Jul 31, 2021 8:28PM ET
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Spending my cash.
CHADWICK RICHINGTON
CHADWICK RICHINGTON Jul 31, 2021 7:50PM ET
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Buy gold
Alexender Sarah
Alexender Sarah Jul 31, 2021 7:50PM ET
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Itz Holyboy Frank
Itz Holyboy Frank Jul 31, 2021 7:09PM ET
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nice
vy mend
vy mend Jul 31, 2021 6:46PM ET
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waooo
Ezege Ezege
Ezege Ezege Jul 31, 2021 6:35PM ET
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can anyone help me?
 
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