On Wednesday night, July 28, the Senate voted to begin work on a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure investment package, which helps move the bipartisan bill toward a formal debate and possible passage.
After months of negotiations, the Senate voted 67-32 to start a formal Senate consideration toward debating the infrastructure deal that President Joe Biden has supported.
According to Reuters, 17 Republicans joined all 48 Democrats and two independents to vote for this first procedural step.
More procedural votes and debate on the infrastructure bill are expected, possibly into the weekend or beyond. Still, it remains unclear if enough Republicans will eventually join Democrats to support the final passage.
Earlier this month, former President Donald Trump called on the Senate Republicans to abandon talks on the deal until they get a fair election next year.
Trump claimed that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and a group of “Republicans In Name Only” are merely interested in proving they could work with Democrats.
“Senate Republicans are being absolutely savaged by Democrats on the so-called ‘bipartisan’ infrastructure bill. Mitch McConnell and his small group of RINOs wants nothing more than to get a deal done at any cost to prove that he can work with the Radical Left Democrats,” Trump said in a statement on July 25.
After Wednesday’s vote, lead Republican negotiator Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that the outcome showed that bipartisanship in Washington could work and believed that GOP support would only grow, The Associated Press reported.
The infrastructure bill will include funding for roads ($110 billion), power grids ($73 billion), railways ($66 billion), broadband access expansions ($65 billion), clean drinking water ($55 billion), environmental resiliency ($50 billion), public transit ($39 billion) and airports ($25 billion).
This bill is a key component of a much more ambitious $3.5 trillion spending package that the Democratic leaders plan to move ahead with, though the Republicans have vowed to oppose that effort.