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It’s Infrastructure Week! Bipartisan Deal Reached

Key Republican senators negotiating a bipartisan infrastructure bill announced Wednesday they have reached a deal with Democrats and the White House, possibly setting up a vote later in the day.

“We have reached an agreement on the major issues. We still have the legislative language to finalize,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) told reporters after the five GOP negotiators met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The deal includes $550 billion in new spending on infrastructure projects, according to two aides familiar with the negotiations. That’s down from the $579 billion negotiators previously targeted. The spending will amount to $1 trillion when factoring in other, expected funding for transportation projects. Portman said Democrats accepted their latest offer to resolve the issue of highway and transit funding, which was one of the last major obstacles.

“This bill is paid for,” he said.

The Senate could begin the multistep process to approve the package later in the evening, he said, adding that they “expect to have the language completed by then.”

It will require 60 votes to move forward, meaning at least 10 Republican senators must back the procedural motion. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who served as the lead negotiator for the Democrats, said lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on the bill but should allow the rest of the Senate to begin reading it soon. “We do expect to move forward this evening, we’re very excited to have a deal,” Sinema said, adding that lawmakers have “most of the text done. so we’ll be releasing it today, and then we’ll update it as we get those last pieces finalized.”

In a statement, President Joe Biden hailed the bipartisan Senate agreement as the “most significant long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.”

“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver, and do big things,” President Biden said. “This deal makes key investments to put people to work all across the country—in cities, small towns, rural communities, and across our coastlines and plains.”

 



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