A week after failing a vote, a newly agreed-to bipartisan bill on infrastructure passed a procedural vote in the Senate. Some caution it’s still not a done deal.
A bipartisan group of Senators got their negotiated infrastructure bill past the first procedural hurdle Wednesday night, advancing the legislation with 67 votes, more than enough votes to block a filibuster.
- The bill costs roughly one trillion dollars, which is in addition to the federal government’s regularly scheduled $3.5-4 trillion annual spending. Only half of the new bill’s cost will be “new spending.”
- The bill focuses on “hard” infrastructure”, projects and industries generally accepted by Democrats and Republicans alike as infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, electrical grid structures, and broadband internet.
- President Biden was credited for staying focused on a bipartisan deal that “would prove useful electorally for the president.”
- The bill faces stiff opposition from some of the loudest political voices outside the Senate: former President Donald Trump is urging Senate Republicans to reject the deal while the House’s head honcho on transportation, Oregon Rep. Pete DeFazio reportedly called the bill “crap.”
- CNN’s analysis called the bill a “mirage of hope”, intimating that despite the deal’s bipartisan support, Congress is “consumed by its poisoned antagonism” while predictably praising anti-Trump GOP Reps Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney.
- Newsweek and The Week highlighted the blowback Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema received from socialist Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Sinema’s announcement not to support the $3.5 trillion reconciliation deal that is comprised of Democratic spending priorities.
- The New York Times’ rundown of the bill’s substance effectively concludes it’s not big enough, quoting “transportation experts” saying it “would only begin to chip away at some of the nation’s pressing infrastructure needs.”
- OANN’s brief report on the bipartisan deal stressed the bill is not yet fully written and that the Senate may work through the weekend to get the bill passed.
- The Daily Caller included much of the nitty gritty of Capitol Hill in their reporting, highlighting the negotiations and drama that came before the announcement, as well as the fact that the bill could be dead on arrival in the House.
- RedStates’s Bonchie warned Republicans not to go along with the deal, saying Senate Democrats are openly “tell[ing] you they are going to double-cross you”, in reference to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation gambit that would include a laundry list of liberal spending priorities.
CNN’s “analysis” is like the burn book in the movie Mean Girls. They mix gossip with name-calling and make everything about Trump. It reads as though 90% of the article was written weeks ago and the author was just waiting for a significant-enough bipartisan effort to emerge so he could disparage Congress.
RedState’s warning to Republicans completely fails to understand political realities outside of the conservative blogosphere. Yes, there will be nothing Republicans can do if Democrats have the votes to ram through a reconciliation package that sidesteps the Senate’s cloture rules. But calling Mitch McConnell “politically deficient” for supporting a bipartisan bill the focus of which enjoys wide support by the public is punditry deafness.
The bill will in all likelihood pass the Senate, with President Biden’s support. The question now is whether Schumer and Biden are able to put enough pressure on House Speaker Pelosi to bring it to the floor. It would pass. The four or so votes from AOC’s Squad matter very little in this situation when it is conceivable dozens of House Republicans will support the bill.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021