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Senators Vote to Work on $1T Infrastructure Plan

Package passes test vote, 67-32, and moves toward debate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2021 1:48 PM CDT
Updated Jul 28, 2021 6:30 PM CDT
Senators Say They Have a Deal on Infrastructure Plan
"I feel confident about it,” Biden told reporters Wednesday when asked about the deal.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Senators of both parties voted Wednesday night to get started on President Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The 67-32 vote puts the Senate on schedule to begin debate on the package this week, the Washington Post reports, a full month after Biden had announced that a deal had been reached. "We are prepared to move forward," lead GOP negotiator Sen. Rob Portman said Wednesday before the vote, per CNBC, but after a few big issues had been resolved. Democratic negotiator Sen. Kyrsten Sinema also said earlier in the day that most of the bill's text had been completed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised that the Senate will pass the bipartisan bill before the August recess, Politico reports.

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Wednesday's test vote does not necessarily mean the Senate will approve the package in the end, per the AP. Passing the deal will require the support of all 50 Democratic senators and at least 10 Republicans. Portman announced the deal alongside four other GOP negotiators, but it's not clear how many other Republicans will vote for the plan. Sources tell the AP that at a closed-door lunch Tuesday, some GOP senators spoke in favor of the plan while others argued against doing anything that would clear the way for Biden's wider $3.5 billion "human infrastructure plan," which would expand social services. Although cost is an issue, many senators have projects they want to add to the infrastructure package. "It's very popular," Portman said. (Read more infrastructure stories.)

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