A procedural motion to move forward with a bipartisan infrastructure deal failed Wednesday in the Senate, but a group of Republicans and Democrats are still optimistic the package will ultimately pass.
Senators voted 49-51 on a motion to begin debate on the proposal, but 60 votes were needed. All 50 Republicans voted against the motion as did Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who did so to be able to reintroduce the motion in the future. Republicans voted against the motion because members have said the actual bill is still being written.
"We made significant progress and are close to a final agreement," a group of 22 senators — 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans — said in a statement after Wednesday's vote. "We will continue working hard to ensure we get this critical legislation right — and are optimistic that we will finalize, and be prepared to advance, this historic bipartisan proposal to strengthen America's infrastructure and create good-paying jobs in the coming days. We appreciate our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the administration, working with us to get this done for the American people."
In June, the White House and a group of 10 bipartisan senators announced they had reached a $1.2 trillion package that includes $579 billion in new spending for "core infrastructure" — to upgrade the nation's roads, bridges, water, broadband and rail systems, among other improvements.
Senate Democrats are also working on a separate $3.5 trillion plan aimed at addressing climate change, expanding Medicare, paid family and medical leave and child care options, and establishing universal prekindergarten, among other provisions. The Democrats will attempt to pass the larger package in the Senate through a reconciliation process, which means they need only a simple majority instead of the usual 60 votes.