WASHINGTON — Senators introduced the long-awaited text of their bipartisan infrastructure bill Sunday, aiming to pass the massive measure before the end of the week.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he would push forward with amendments to the $1 trillion bill, which senators were finalizing through the weekend.
“Given the thoroughly bipartisan nature of the bill, I expect we will be able to consider all the relevant amendments and finish the bill in a matter of days,” Schumer said on the Senate floor before the text of the bill was released.
The measure 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 a series of transportation projects that have long enjoyed support from both parties.
The bill, which is 2,702 pages, includes measures aimed at reforming Amtrak, “revolutionizing” a transportation grant program and enhancing the electrical grid. Other provisions target drinking water infrastructure, broadband affordability and reducing ferry emissions.
Speaking on the Senate floor, members of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who worked on the bill said that they had overcome their differences to craft legislation that would modernize the country’s outdated infrastructure.
“So many people have given up on the Senate,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. “They have given up on Congress. They have given up on our ability to be able to do the big things. This is big. This is a big deal.”
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, added that the group had followed a commitment to focus on “core” infrastructure — instead of a far more expansive set of proposals initially advanced by the White House — and to not raise taxes.
“We kept to those two principles,” he said.
Schumer said that once the bill was passed, he would move to a budget blueprint for an even more massive $3.5 trillion measure to fund Democratic priorities on climate, health care and the economy as senators work to finish up legislative work before their summer break begins next week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has insisted that the larger measure must be passed before the House, which has already left for its recess, will even consider the bipartisan infrastructure deal.
The Senate will soon consider bipartisan infrastructure legislation that makes 𝙝𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙘 investments in everything from our roads to our water systems.
Bill Text: https://t.co/cDLhiVtrMm
— Senate EPW Democrats (@EPWCmte) August 2, 2021
Biden voiced his support for the infrastructure measure Sunday, tweeting that the deal “is the most important investment in public transit in American history and the most important investment in rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago.”
Teaganne Finn is a political reporter for NBC News.
Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News based in California.