In those discussions, said Mr. Portman, who was President George W. Bush’s budget manager, helped direct policy discussions for Republicans, while Ms. Cinema debated in group meetings and helped preserve them focused on the issues at hand.
“They have a pleasing relationship with each other, and are in a relationship built on trust,” Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, said of the couple in an interview.
In order to finalize the agreement, the senators eventually split into little working groups, each tasked with drafting distinct aspects of the bill, including transit and broadband projects, and funding provisions.
While she was at her birthday dinner final Saturday night, Mrs. The cinema was on call with Senators Jane Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, and Ms. Collins, reconciling a series of accounting numbers on unspent pandemic relief funds, a major financing mechanism, Ms. Collins. Collins remembers. (Having called the four senators “Wonder Woman,” Ms. Senema gifted the other three stemless wine glasses with the superhero crest.)
Mr. Portman spent nine hours Tuesday in his conference room in the Russell Senate office building with Steve Richetti, a White House counsel, grappling with how to resolve remaining issues, including transit funding.
At some point, said Mr. Portman’s phone with voice messages grew so much that mr. A Republican official close to the talks said Biden was unable to leave him a message. (They called later.)
“I really appreciate the continued communication they both had,” Pete Buttigieg, Minister of Transport, said of Mr Pete Buttigieg. portman and mrs. cinema during the negotiations.