senate-inches-toward-final-infrastructure-vote

WASHINGTON — The Senate reconvened for another weekend session Sunday, as lawmakers continued to make headway on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

The Senate voted 67-27 Saturday to invoke cloture, which ended debate on the massive bill and allowed for a final vote by the Senate in the coming days. As of Sunday, no agreement on amendments, one of the holdups, had been reached.

The Senate was in session beginning at noon, with a vote scheduled around 7 p.m. ET on an amendment that would put the infrastructure bill language into place before final passage.

“It could go quicker, but it’s going,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

So far, 17 or 18 Republicans have indicated that they would support the measure, said Cassidy, who noted that some members of his caucus voiced opposition after having seen the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that the bill would add $256 billion to the deficit over 10 years.

“OK, well, that’s OK, but on the other hand, we’re creating jobs, we’re creating bridges, we’re protecting people from flooding. Hopefully they change their mind,” he said.

Freshman Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., objected to fast-tracking the legislation, citing its effect on the deficit.

“There’s absolutely no reason for rushing this process,” Hagerty said Saturday on the Senate floor.

The proposal includes $550 billion in new spending to build roads, public transit and other priorities of President Joe Biden, which would inject a windfall of money into transportation projects that have long enjoyed support from both parties.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said that the Senate would stay in session as long as it took to complete the bill. Senators had been scheduled to begin their August recess over the weekend.

“I said yesterday that we could do this the easy way or the hard way. Yesterday it appeared that some Republicans would like the Senate to do this the hard way,” Schumer said Sunday on the Senate floor. “In any case, we’ll keep proceeding until we get this bill done.”

Teaganne Finn

Teaganne Finn is a political reporter for NBC News.

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