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Senate G.O.P. Set to Sink Test Vote on Infrastructure Bill, Pleading for More Negotiation Time

  • July 21, 2021

Instead, senators spent Wednesday trading blame for their failure to begin debating the infrastructure plan.

Republicans, including the five negotiators who have been involved in discussions on a compromise, argued that Democrats had threatened their progress by rushing a vote on the package before the deal was ready. Democrats questioned why Republicans, many of whom have said they want a bipartisan infrastructure compromise, would be unwilling to simply allow a debate to move forward while the negotiations proceed.

Underlying the finger-pointing were longstanding worries by both parties about the political ramifications of a deal. Democrats, particularly progressives, have long been concerned that Republicans would drag out negotiations to force concessions and ultimately withhold their support.

Republicans, for their part, are wary of getting locked in to an agreement with Mr. Biden that members of their own party — many of whom are deeply opposed to costly federal spending packages — might reject.

Still, even as they voted unanimously against the maneuver, multiple Senate Republicans said they would be willing to support a rescheduled vote as early as Monday if a deal could be reached by then. Eleven Republicans — enough to overcome a filibuster if every Democrat and independent agreed — readied a letter to Mr. Schumer making that commitment, though it was unclear on Wednesday whether he had received it.

“We’re optimistic that once we get past this vote today, that we’re going to continue our work and that we will be ready in the coming days,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a key negotiator. She said members of the group “think that we will be largely ready on Monday.”

Mr. Schumer could move to force another test vote on the bill, though it was unclear whether he would do so.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/21/us/politics/senate-infrastructure-vote-republicans.html

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