Senate inches toward final infrastructure vote

WASHINGTON — The Senate reconvened for another weekend session on Sunday, as lawmakers continued to make headway on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

On Saturday, the Senate voted 67 to 27 on a motion to invoke cloture, which ended debate on the massive bill and allowed for a final vote by the Senate in the coming days. As of Sunday, no agreement on amendments, one of the holdups, had been reached.

The Senate was in session beginning at noon, with a vote scheduled around 7 p.m. ET on an amendment that would put into place the infrastructure bill language prior to final passage.

“It could go quicker, but it’s going,” Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union.

So far 17 or 18 Republicans have indicated they would support the measure, said Cassidy, who noted that some members of his caucus voiced opposition after seeing the Congressional Budget Office estimate that the bill will add $256 billion to the deficit over 10 years.

“Okay, well that’s okay, but on the other hand, we’re creating jobs, we’re creating bridges, we’re protecting people from flooding. Hopefully they change their mind,” he said.

Freshman Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., objected to fast-tracking of the legislation, citing its effect on the deficit.

“There’s absolutely no reason for rushing this process,” said Hagerty, on the Senate floor on Saturday.

The proposal includes $550 billion in new spending to build roads, public transit and other priorities of President Joe Biden, which would inject a windfall of money into a series of transportation projects that have long enjoyed support from both parties.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., repeated on Saturday that the Senate would stay in session as long as it took to complete the bill. Senators had been scheduled to begin their August recess this weekend.