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US Senate passes infrastructure bill

10 Aug 2021 06:15 PM

The US Senate passed a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure package with broad bipartisan support on Tuesday, pushing a key part of President Biden's economic agenda that will be one of the largest federal investments in roads, bridges and rail in decades. The vote was 69 to 30, with 19 Republicans joining all Democrats.

The result of weeks of painstaking negotiations between a bipartisan group of 10 senators and the White House, the legislation restores authorization to spend on existing federal public works programs and saves an additional $550 billion in water projects, electrical grid and safety efforts, among many other projects.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, immediately turned to a budget resolution that would allow Democrats to approve what they see as a $3.5 trillion supplemental spending plan without Republican votes.

"Today, the Senate is taking the decades-long-overdue step of revitalizing America's infrastructure and giving our workers, businesses, and economy the tools to succeed in the 21st century," Schumer said before the final vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also a Democrat, stressed that she would not accept the infrastructure bill or Democrats' separate proposal to expand the Social Safety Net until both Senate passes. The House will not return from recess until September 20, and Congress may take months to pass both measures.

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