US Senate to vote on $1 trillion Infrastructure Bill

Debate on the $3.5 trillion plan is expected to continue for several months.

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The U.S. Senate is expected to give its approval Tuesday to a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

The package includes about $550 billion in new spending and would pay for roads, water systems and improving access to broadband internet. 

Tuesday’s vote follows extensive negotiations between a group of Democrats and Republicans. 

There are those who oppose the measure on both sides, including Democrats who say it does not go far enough to address the nation’s needs and Republicans who object to the scope and price tag. 

But in the evenly split Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, the package is expected to have the support of more than two-thirds of the members. 

Approval in the Senate would send the measure to the House of Representatives, where lawmakers are expected to consider it in September. 

“Let me say this, it has taken quite a long time, and there have been detours and everything else, but this will do a whole lot of good for America, and the Senate can be proud it has passed this,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday. 

Republican Senator Rob Portman, who was involved in the bipartisan negotiations, called the package “the largest in our nation’s history.”

“After decades of inaction, we will finally deliver the safe, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy & our country so desperately needs,” Portman tweeted late Monday. 

Schumer said Monday that after the vote on the infrastructure bill, the Senate would turn its attention to a $3.5 trillion, 10-year plan that includes items such as universal preschool, free community college, and money for affordable housing and clean energy programs. 

The larger package has the support of Democrats in the Senate, but not Republicans. 

Democrats are likely to proceed under a special process known as a budget reconciliation. That would allow the bill to advance with only a simple majority and not be subject to a potential filibuster, a move by the minority Republicans to block or delay a vote. 

A budget resolution would allow Democrats to pass spending legislation later in the year, also with a simple majority, to fill out the specifics of the programs. 

Debate on the $3.5 trillion plan is expected to continue for several months.