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Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Is In—and It's Massive

Senators unveil $1T package Sunday night
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2021 12:00 AM CDT
Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Is In—and It's Massive
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., updates reporters on the infrastructure negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – After much delay, senators unveiled a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, wrapping up days of painstaking work on the inches-thick bill and launching what is certain to be a lengthy debate over President Biden’s big priority. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act clocked in at some 2,700 pages, and senators could begin amending it soon. Despite the hurry-up-and-wait during a rare weekend session, emotions bubbled over once the bill was produced Sunday night, the AP reports. The final product was not intended to stray from the broad outline senators had negotiated for weeks with the White House. “We haven’t done a large, bipartisan bill of this nature in a long time,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He said a final vote could be held “in a matter of days.”

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Senators and staff labored behind the scenes for days to write the massive bill. It was supposed to be ready Friday, but by Sunday even more glitches were caught and changes made. To prod the work, Schumer kept senators in session over the weekend, encouraging the authors to finish up work. Late Sunday, most of the 10 senators involved in the bipartisan effort rose on the Senate floor to mark the moment. “We know that this has been a long and sometimes difficult process, but we are proud this evening to announce this legislation,” said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a lead negotiator. The bill showed “we can put aside our own political differences for the good of the country,” she said. Republican negotiator Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said the final product will be “great for the American people.” The bipartisan bill still faces a rough road in the House, where progressive lawmakers want a more robust package but may have to settle for this one to keep Biden’s infrastructure plans on track. (More on the bill, and what's next, here.)

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