Republican says infrastructure bill has enough support to pass Senate | World Weekly
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Republican Senator Susan Collins said Sunday that Joe Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure package has the support of enough lawmakers to pass it in the Senate this week.
Collins said the bill could be presented to the Senate as late as Sunday, and she expects it to have the support of at least 10 Republican senators.
Collins, a Republican senator from Maine who was part of the bipartisan group negotiating the package, spoke on CNN and said she “expected and hoped” that the bill would pass later this week.
The Senate met over the weekend to try to get the deal done after weeks of uncertainty and false starts. The $1 trillion plan will finance investments in roads, bridges, ports, airports, water utilities and broadband networks.
“This bill is good for America,” Collins said. “Every senator can look at the bridges, the roads, the need for more broadband, the waterways in their states, the ports and the airports and see the very tangible benefits and advantages of this legislation.”
Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator who held the swing vote, also said he expects the text to be approved on Sunday, with some amendments to be considered the following day. But Manchin said he “absolutely” expects the bill to pass the Senate.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic majority leader, expected a vote “within days.”
Bipartisan infrastructure legislation represents a critical step toward achieving the Biden administration’s overall economic agenda, which is to pump $4 trillion in government investment over the next decade with the goal of reshaping the American economy.
But the size of the bill was hotly disputed. Republicans, who largely represent states and rural communities, want lower levels of funding for public transportation, while Democratic lawmakers, whose support is concentrated in cities, want the agreement to include more.
Biden has backed the deal as critical to the economy and proof of his ability to deliver a bipartisan deal, raising the political stakes of the negotiations.
However, the scale of the agreement falls short of the broad investments in climate, education and childcare that Biden has proposed this year.
In June, Biden was forced to agree to a watered-down deal, forging a compromise with a group of moderate senators including Kirsten Senema, an Arizona Democrat, and Collins.
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