US Senate votes to cross a $ 1 trillion infrastructure invoice

Reuters, Washington

Wed 11.08.2021 00:00

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Bernie Sanders walk together as the Senate continues to work on the bipartisan infrastructure bill at the United States Capitol in Washington, USA on Aug. 9. Photo: REUTERS


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Bernie Sanders walk together as the Senate continues to work on the bipartisan infrastructure bill at the United States Capitol in Washington, USA on Aug. 9. Photo: REUTERS

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday scheduled a vote to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill worth $ 1 trillion, which is a top priority for President Joe Biden, and then immediately moves on to debate a broader bill worth $ 3.5 trillion start.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced late Monday that a week-long debate on the bipartisan bill would end on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET (1500 GMT), when a vote takes place on the passage that is expected. The Senate is then expected to vote to begin the debate on the larger bill – a draft budget that is a major target for progressive Democrats.

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Documents unveiled earlier Monday indicated that later that year they would lay the foundation for legislation that would provide tax incentives for “clean” production, make community college free for two years, and allow millions of immigrants to join Citizenship Opened.

The budget also provides for new federal aid for social programs, including home nursing for the elderly.

The first bill, which is 2,702 pages long, is high on Biden’s domestic agenda and includes $ 550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges and internet access. “It’s a very good day. We came to an agreement after all the long and tough negotiations,” said Schumer with a smile at the vote on Tuesday.

The $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill is popular with many legislators from both parties because of the federal dollars it would deliver to their home states. Polls also show that Americans generally support this. In the coming days, Democrats plan to debate and pass the $ 3.5 trillion non-binding resolution that will serve as the framework for more detailed, more binding laws later this year.

Republicans have come out strongly against the size and cost of the follow-up package, which the Democrats want to pass without their votes through a process called “budget reconciliation.”

The ambitious budget targets of $ 3.5 trillion are under review by the Senate MP, who has the power to remove provisions that contradict Senate rules. However, the entire Senate could vote to overturn such decisions.

That sweeping bill would include about $ 726 billion for providing a universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and a free community college, $ 332 billion for affordable housing, and $ 198 billion for clean energy.

A Democratic memo said the $ 3.5 trillion cost would be paid in full by a combination of tax increases, savings on federal health programs, and projected long-term economic growth. The latter claim is debated by many economists, who often do not argue about the veracity of the economic implications of Washington’s new policies.

There are no tax hikes for those who earn less than $ 400,000 a year, Democrats said.

The tax hikes, already announced by the Biden administration and Senate Democrats, would hit high earners and come with increased tax enforcement by the IRS.

The measure also calls for a “carbon polluter import fee”. The plan would extend a new, expanded tax credit for children who wanted to make progressives permanent.

And it would provide “relief” for tax candidates who encounter a cap on state and local tax withholding, which was tightened by a 2017 Republican-backed tax bill.

It was still unclear whether the Democrats would add an increase in the debt ceiling to the reconciliation law being drafted in the coming weeks, or whether they would seek another way to increase Washington’s almost exhausted lending authority.

Senate Top Republican Mitch McConnell said his party would not vote to raise the debt ceiling.

“The Democrats want Republicans to help them raise the debt ceiling so they can continue to spend historic sums of money with no Republican contributions and no Republican votes,” McConnell said.

“So our friends across the aisle shouldn’t expect traditional bipartisan loans to fund their nontraditional, reckless taxes and expenses. It’s not going to work that way.” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday again urged Congress to act quickly and non-partisanly.

Passing key bills is difficult given the 50:50 split between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, with Democrats claiming a majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tied vote. The Democrats have a wafer-thin majority in the House of Representatives.

If the $ 1 trillion bill is passed by the Senate as expected, the House of Representatives would still have to debate and vote on it sometime after returning from summer recess in late September.