During negotiations on the infrastructure bill, Rob Portman claims the GOP will block a key Senate vote.
As negotiations continue, Republicans are set to delay a critical procedural vote on a bipartisan infrastructure measure on Wednesday.
Senator Rob Portman told CNBC’s Squawk Box just hours before the vote, “We’re just not ready.”
“All we want is time to get it right,” said the Ohio Republican. “You know, it’s too essential for us to push this vote here for some arbitrary deadline. As a result, we won’t be able to support moving ahead today.”
Portman believes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will postpone the vote until Monday, when Republican senators would be ready to debate the plan, according to Portman.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the vote would take place in the afternoon on Wednesday morning. The New York Democrat justified his decision, saying that negotiators should feel confident voting yes today to move the bill forward since they are “near to finalizing their product.”
In remarks from the floor, Schumer stated, “This vote is not a timetable to have every final detail worked out.” “It is not a deliberate attempt to stifle anyone.”
But McConnell, the chamber’s top Republican, dubbed the move a “stunt” that’s “doomed to fail.”
From the Senate floor, McConnell stated, “The Democratic Leader will be free to change his vote and move to reconsider whenever a bipartisan product truly exists.”
President Joe Biden and a group of nonpartisan senators reached an agreement on a bipartisan infrastructure plan last month.
The $1.2 trillion plan, according to the White House, would spend $579 billion on improving roads, bridges, public transportation, and airports. The remaining $266 billion would go into things like broadband internet, environmental remediation, and water infrastructure.
The question of how to pay for the infrastructure upgrades has been a sticking point in recent negotiations. This week, lawmakers abandoned plans to fund the package in part by increasing the Internal Revenue Service’s tax-collection enforcement.
Provisions Democrats have labeled as “human infrastructure,” such as subsidized child care and home caregiving, are not included in the bipartisan infrastructure plan. Such provisions might be included in a separate $3.5 trillion deal that Democrats hope to enact through reconciliation.
Schumer pushed Democrats to strike a deal on the provisions of the reconciliation package by Wednesday.
“The moment has come. This is a condensed version of the information.