The Senate may vote as early as Wednesday night on advancing long-in-the-works legislation for a massive infrastructure package, as Republicans and President Joe Biden confirmed that a deal had been reached.
“I was just on the phone, it looks like we reached a bipartisan agreement on infrastructure,” Biden said during a speech in Pennsylvania.
Biden called “infrastructure” a “fancy word for bridges roads, transit systems, high speed internet and clean drinking water.”
The president marked the deal last month after a meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, but as the details have been hashed out, the agreement appeared to be on life support. If the Senate and House ultimately pass the latest version of the deal, it will mark a key accomplishment for Biden, who not only proposed such massive new investments, but put his faith in the idea that common ground could be reached between the parties at a time of hyper polarization.
“I’m working with Democrats and Republicans to get this done because while there is a lot we don’t agree on, I believe we should be able to work together on the few things we do agree on,” Biden said.
Earlier on Wednesday, after meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) told reporters that an agreement had been reached on major issues. Portman has been the lead negotiator for Republicans on a bipartisan committee set up to try to come to a deal. The deal would include $550 billion in new spending on projects, almost $30 billion less than the amount that had been announced in June, according to NBC News.
For the deal to move forward, 60 senators will have to vote to move it forward and overcome a filibuster threat. If it ultimately passes the Senate, it then would require a House vote.
More to come.