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After months of work, U.S. senators unveil $1 trillion infrastructure bill

World Aug 01, 2021 11:05PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Vehicles are parked outside the U.S. Capitol building the morning the Senate returned to session in Washington, DC, U.S., July 31, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

By David Morgan and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. senators introduced a sweeping $1-trillion bipartisan plan to invest in roads, bridges, ports, high-speed internet and other infrastructure, with some predicting the chamber could pass this week the largest public works legislation in decades.

The massive infrastructure package, a goal that has eluded Congress for years, is a top legislative priority for Democratic President Joe Biden, who billed it on Sunday as the largest such investment in a century.

Senators said the 2,702-page bill included $550 billion in new spending over five years for items such as roads, rail, electric vehicle charging stations and replacing lead water pipes on top of $450 billion in previously approved funds.

"I believe we can quickly process relevant amendments and pass this bill in days," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said of the legislation after it was announced by a bipartisan group of senators.

"This is a really important bill because it takes our big, aging and outdated infrastructure in this country and modernizes it. That’s good for everybody," said Senator Rob Portman, the lead Republican negotiator.

However, some Republicans criticized the bill as too costly.

"I’ve got real concerns with this bill," Republican Senator Mike Lee said in a floor speech. "All is not well with the way we spend money."

It was not yet clear whether senators outside the bipartisan group that negotiated the bill will offer amendments that could possibly upset the delicate coalition that was cobbled together.

If the bill passes the Senate, it must be considered in the House of Representatives, where some Democrats have blasted it as too small and the Democratic leadership has paired it with a $3.5 trillion "human infrastructure" bill to pour money into education, child care, climate change and other priorities.

Democrats want to offset that social spending with tax hikes on corporations and wealthy Americans earning more than $400,000 a year, measures opposed by Republicans, leaving the fate of both bills up in the air.

Sunday night's developments capped months of negotiating, and infighting, among several groups of senators and the White House.

Initially, Biden said he was seeking about $2 trillion in a bipartisan bill, an amount that Republicans rejected as wasteful and unnecessary.

A group of Republican senators then worked on a plan to spend far less, an effort that eventually died, raising questions if Congress could fashion a deal allowing the Democratic president to fulfill his Jan. 20 inauguration promise of working cooperatively with Republicans.

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate, and the conservative Portman toiled for months, adding input from House centrists, on a new plan closer to what Biden would accept.

Late in June the group said it had reached a $1.2-trillion deal, but filling in details took more than a month.

With prodding from Schumer and Biden, the negotiators put their staffs to work, nearly around-the-clock, culminating in Sunday's final deal.

After months of work, U.S. senators unveil $1 trillion infrastructure bill
 

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Comments (17)
ishak ahmad
ishak ahmad Aug 02, 2021 12:28AM ET
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Republican: Arghhh go to war !!!!Democrats: Economic, tax, speeendddd $$$$Me: $imCity hohoho
Bret Lafrance
Bret Lafrance Aug 01, 2021 10:17PM ET
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It’s simple, investing in infrastructure enables business to grow, growing business is a good thing for this country. Picking fights and threatening fellow citizens is a bad thing, it is divisive and a complete waste of time, like Turker Carlsin.
Don Burris
Don Burris Aug 01, 2021 10:07PM ET
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Didn't Obama pass a 900 billion "shovel ready" stimulus plan that wasted most of tax payers money. This will be just like it. Money down a rate hole.
steven edwards
steven edwards Aug 01, 2021 9:25PM ET
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$1 trillion? Wasn't this $3.5 trillion a week ago? My goodness democrats must be worried about their plummeting approval...not looking good for midterms and 2024. Biden/Kamala have plummeting approval, Trump getting millions attending his rallies even while being censored/banned by social media and  not aired on MSM, approval for MSM is under 30% almost as low as approval for Congress. Over the past year, the two fields which lost the most support are teachers and medical workers, and the field which gained the most support is police. The leftist narrative has completely fallen apart. CNN has reportedly lost 68% of its viewers this year, while Fox is number one and Tucker Carlson is the number one person in the ratings on all of television news. This is why they attack him so much. I am not republican, but the democrats only have themselves to blame for pushing ma.rxist agenda and being slaves to the globalists.
Daniel Morgan
Daniel Morgan Aug 01, 2021 9:25PM ET
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"I am not a republican, but here is every trumpist republican talking point." Just own it.. quit trying to dupe people into thinking you are an independent
M. Turner
M. Turner Aug 01, 2021 9:25PM ET
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A  trillion here, a trillion there. When will the Americans stop using this monopoly money?
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Aug 01, 2021 8:19PM ET
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This will be awsome, just like the Obama years of booming economy. Not!
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Aug 01, 2021 7:09PM ET
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Can i have free internet or 20usd/month before the gov ‘net neutrality’ bill? If they jack up internet 25% more after this, i’ll call them lia rs n th ievrs.
Ian Salter
Ian Salter Aug 01, 2021 7:04PM ET
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No vote on this one until the reconciobill passes!
Bret Lafrance
Bret Lafrance Aug 01, 2021 5:36PM ET
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$900B+ per year on military, cut that in half or even down to 1/4 and invest in infrastructure that will yield growth for 10 years. makes sense to me, what are you guys whining about?
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Aug 01, 2021 4:05PM ET
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The liberals can’t even build a train in California that they spent 9 billion dollars on. It’s not even finished after a decade. And they called it high speed train lol It’s the slowest train on the earth. Basically the 1 trillion the liberals want will get nothing ofImportance done
 
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