In an expected result, a vote to begin debate on the bipartisan infrastructure deal failed in the Senate Wednesday. The video above shows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell inside Senate chambers explaining why he opposes beginning debate.
Republicans said they filibustered Wednesday’s vote because the bipartisan group of Senators needed more time to review the details of the deal. They sought a delay until Monday.
The deal is worth nearly $1 trillion over five years. It includes about $579 billion in new spending on roads, broadband and other public works projects.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had scheduled the procedural vote that he described as a step to ”get the ball rolling” as talks progress. Sen. McConnell called it a “stunt” that “is set up to fail”.
“There’s no outcome yet. No bipartisan agreement, no text, nothing for the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate. And certainly nothing on which to vote, not yet,” McConnell said. “So obviously, if the Democratic leader tries to force a cloture vote on a bill that does not exist, it will fail. Around here, we typically write the bills before we vote on them. That’s the custom.”
Sen. Schumer said Wednesday’s vote was not meant to be a deadline for having every detail worked out.
“My colleagues are well aware that we often agree to move forward with debates on issues before we have the text in hand,” Schumer said. “We’ve done it twice this year already.”
11 Republicans signed on to a letter to Schumer saying they would support moving forward with a yes vote on Monday, if certain details about the package are ready.
The deal would be a first phase of an eventual $4 trillion-plus package of domestic outlays. The package would not just cover roads and bridges, but things like child care, family tax breaks, education and an expansion of Medicare for seniors.