Senators say infrastructure bill to pass this week
Senators were back on Capitol Hill on Sunday as a bipartisan group of lawmakers put the finishing touches on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which key Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said was likely to pass before the end of the week.MANCHIN: “It’s 99.9% finished. They’re drafting it. The text will be done. Hopefully we’ll introduce it today. We’ll vote on it tonight. We’ll start an amendment process on Monday. If not, we want to be done by Thursday. We want to move on. Okay?”The massive infrastructure package is one of President Joe Biden’s top legislative priorities and would be the largest investment in U.S. roads, bridges, ports, and transit in decades. It includes $550 billion in new spending on top of $450 billion in previously approved funds and would provide money to replace lead water pipes and build a network of electric vehicle charging stations. Senator Jon Tester, a key Democratic negotiator on the legislation, told reporters that one potential holdup is a provision over wages. Democrats want to include a decades-old law that would require contractors to pay prevailing wages – typically higher levels set by unions – on projects funded by the legislation.Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, said on Sunday that she believes at least 10 Republicans will support the measure, enabling it to clear a 60-vote procedural hurdle.But the bill would still need to get through the House of Representatives, where some Democratic progressives have suggested the $1 trillion package is inadequate, and the Senate could impose changes that potentially complicate its chances of becoming law.