Republicans poised to block Senate infrastructure 'framework' on Wednesday


Senate Republicans say they’ll vote Wednesday to block debate on a $1 trillion infrastructure framework because of unsolved differences and a lack of information about the package.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has rejected calls from key GOP negotiators to postpone the vote until Monday in order to provide more time to iron out differences and calculate detailed cost analyses.

“There's absolutely no reason why he asked to have the vote tomorrow, and it does not advance the ball,” Sen. Susan Collins, a co-author of the package and a Maine Republican, told the Washington Examiner. “It does not achieve any goal except to alienate people.”

Schumer is likely to ensure that he can bring the measure back up for a vote in the future, but Democrats would not commit to it on Tuesday, arguing the GOP should simply vote to proceed to the bill on Wednesday.

Republican leaders told reporters after a closed-door conference meeting they won’t vote on a proposal without seeing the legislative text, which has not yet been finalized.

“We’re not going to the bill until we know what is in the bill,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said.

Schumer said he’s determined to move forward and urged Republicans to vote to advance the package with a promise from him they could introduce amendments to change the measure once the floor debate gets going. He said that Republicans have in the past agreed on moving ahead with major legislation without full text available.

“There is no reason it should fail,” the senator said. ”The plan I have is very fair to the bipartisan process. We almost never wait for a complex bill like this for a full bill to be on the floor in order for it to be debated.”

President Joe Biden has endorsed the bipartisan deal and has been promoting it as a way to produce 1 million jobs while fixing aging infrastructure across the nation.

Wednesday’s vote will require the support of 60 lawmakers before debate can begin on the measure.

That means 10 Republicans will have to vote alongside all Democrats. But as of Tuesday afternoon, even the top Republican negotiators were not on board.

“Wednesday is premature, but I think Monday would be sufficient time for us to get all the remaining issues solved and socialize the legislation with that with our colleagues so they know how they want to vote,” Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, told reporters. “And that's unanimous among Republicans.”

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