U.S. politics and policy updates
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Republican Senator Susan Collins said on Sunday that Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan has received sufficient support from lawmakers and passed in the Senate this week.
Collins said the bill could be submitted to the Senate as early as late Sunday, and she expects the support of at least ten Republican senators.
Speaking on CNN, Collins was a member of the bipartisan group of members of the bill. She said that it was her “expectation and hope” that the bill would be passed later this week.
After weeks of uncertainty and a false start, the Senate met over the weekend to push for an agreement. The $1 trillion plan will fund investments in roads, bridges, ports, airports, water supply facilities and broadband networks.
“This bill is good for the United States,” said Republican Senator Collins of Maine. “Each senator can see bridges and roads, and the demand for more broadband and waterways in their states, seaports, and airports, and see the benefits of this legislation, very specific benefits, no puns.”
The conservative Democratic senator and Democratic senator Joe Manchin, who held a swing vote in the U.S. Senate, also said that he expects the text to be agreed on Sunday and consider some amendments on Sunday or Monday.
Manchin stated that he “absolutely” expects the bill to be passed in the Senate, while the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives Chuck Schumer expects a vote in “a few days.”
The bipartisan infrastructure legislation is a key step in the completion of the Biden administration’s comprehensive economic agenda, injecting US$4 trillion in government investment in the next ten years, aimed at reshaping the US economy.
But the size of the bill has been fiercely debated by legislators. Republicans, who disproportionately represent rural states and communities, want to lower the level of funding for public transportation, while Democratic lawmakers who support more concentration in cities want more funds in the agreement.
Biden wholeheartedly supports that the deal is vital to the US economy and proved that he can complete a bipartisan deal in Washington, which increases the political risk of negotiations.
However, the final scale of the agreement will not reach the extensive investment in climate, education and childcare that Biden proposed earlier this year.
Last month, Biden was forced to agree to a streamlined agreement to reach a compromise with a group of moderate senators, including Kirsten Cinema, Arizona Democrats and Collins.