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

WorldAug 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"This is a really important bill because it takes our big, aging and outdated infrastructure in this country and modernizes it.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 (20)
Lawrence Montgomery
Lawrence Montgomery Aug 02, 2021 6:42AM ET
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let's take 30 trillion of our debt and divide it by citizens over 18. 143,000$ ! wow we live in a bubble of monopoly money.
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.
Investing Man
Investing Man Aug 01, 2021 9:31PM ET
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Lets hope this makes it to the peoples hands. Republican reagonomics and globalization has done enough damage to the middle class. End the richman welfare.
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!
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Aug 01, 2021 6:23PM ET
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I can pay for this billion in 30 seconds. fire everyone in Congress
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
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Aug 01, 2021 2:15PM ET
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Great...so higher inflation? 'Infrastructure' spending is just a another term for QE
Show previous replies (1)
Thomas Monteiro
Thomas Monteiro Aug 01, 2021 2:15PM ET
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Investment on infrastructure is actually deflationary, because it lowers transportation costs and time
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Aug 01, 2021 2:15PM ET
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At least the money will work.
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Aug 01, 2021 2:15PM ET
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Haha Are you kidding Look at the California high speed rail project. It raised transportation cost and did not lower travel time. It was a 10 billion dollar waste of taxpayers money. Brought to you by the governor Jerry Brown. And continued waste under Newsom. Liberals can’t even build a train lol Now one TRILLION for roads ?
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Aug 01, 2021 2:15PM ET
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Tyrone Jackson  I didn't say it will be cheaper. I said at least the money will work.
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Aug 01, 2021 2:15PM ET
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Was replying to Thomes
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Aug 01, 2021 2:00PM ET
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How can they pass this legislation when the debt ceiling expired yesterday?Federal government needs a new line of credit.
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Aug 01, 2021 2:00PM ET
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Debt ceiling is set by someone. So what? It can be reset.
Warren Wesley
Warren Wesley Aug 01, 2021 1:57PM ET
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passing infrasture allows dems to ram through the budget with their over spending. 2021 budget was 2.3 trillion. dems appear to have given up on 2022 elections. they think this is their last hurah.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Aug 01, 2021 1:18PM ET
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the liberals always spend more than something should cost. in this case, they do it solely for union votes. this always sticks the taxpayers, including union workers, with higher taxes to pay off the increase in debt. the charging stations will be ghost towns. there's hardly a business out there with charging stations that ever has anybody's car plugged in. I've seen one car plugged in - one time! plus, about 4 out 5 electric car owners trade in their cars for hybrids. fully electric cars are a pain in the rump of their owners.
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Aug 01, 2021 1:18PM ET
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And conservatives always grumble and cry for the good old days.
CHADWICK RICHINGTON
CHADWICK RICHINGTON Aug 01, 2021 12:09PM ET
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Bidenflation Bill
John Burton
John Burton Aug 01, 2021 12:09PM ET
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z????$ ?? o ?'ZZZ up ×fox b$ x
Raymond Huggard
Raymond Huggard Aug 01, 2021 11:11AM ET
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Its full of pork. Do not pass this bill that supports tye communist takeover.
Bett Albern
Bett Albern Aug 01, 2021 10:44AM ET
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I ask my GOP Senators to read the bill very carefully and make sure there is no Left Wing junk in there before signing off.  Stick to your core Conservative Beliefs.
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Aug 01, 2021 10:44AM ET
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Left wing junk??? Everything in there is left wing junk and everybody that voted for the bill got a fat check- 100%
 
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