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Senate Republicans Block Debate on Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

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Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the procedure to start the debate on a $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package.

In a 49-51 vote on Wednesday, Democrats fell short of the required 60 votes to begin the debate on the infrastructure package framework.

Head of the Senate Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) switch to vote against the bill, allowing the chamber to hold another vote in the expedited transition procedure.

Ang vote came as a group of bipartisan senators who are still in the middle of negotiations on the actual text of the infrastructure package. However, Senate Democrats reportedly feel pressure to begin efforts to pass the infrastructure package and a separate $ 3.5 trillion spending bill that they aim to pass on only Democratic votes.

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Most legislation requires 60 votes to pass the Senate, which is currently equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats expect at least 10 Republicans to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure package.

Meanwhile, they want to use a process known as budget reconciliation that will allow them to pass a larger spending package with just 50 votes with Vice President Kamala Harris voting.

Before the vote on Wednesday, Schumer driven his Republican colleagues to vote to start the debate on the infrastructure package, “This vote is just the first step in the legislative process on the Senate floor. It’s just a vote about whether the Senate is ready to start debating a bipartisan infrastructure bill. I also clarified about what this vote is not: This vote is not a deadline to work out every final detail. It is not an attempt to crowd anyone. “

However, Head of the Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Said the bill was not over and claimed Schumer had “intent on calling a vote he knew would fail.”

Should they start a debate without the text of the bill?

“These discussions are not over yet. There is no outcome yet … So, obviously, if the Leader of the Democrats tries to force a dress vote on a bill that does not exist, it will fail,” he added.

After the procedural vote failed on Wednesday, the bipartisan group of senators said in a statement, “We have made significant progress and are close to a final agreement. We will continue to work to ensure that we get this critical legislation right.… We value our colleagues on both sides of the aisle , and of the administration, who work with us. “

In June, President Joe Biden announced that he reached a deal with the bipartisan group in the framework of the infrastructure package. Since then, senators have been negotiate the details of the bill and how it will be paid for.

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