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Lately, bipartisan negotiations over a potential federal infrastructure deal have looked like they might be on the path to nothing. But repeated efforts to strike a deal led to a major breakthrough this week, with the US Senate voting to introduce a trillion-dollar package that would invest in roads, bridges, rail service, public transportation, clean water, electric vehicle charging and broadband infrastructure in America.
“Tonight, we celebrate not only the lengthy-awaited and much-needed investment in our infrastructure, but also the fact that a bipartisan partnership is still conceivable,” Susan Collins, a key player in these negotiations, said Wednesday evening following voting to begin debate on the bill. She was one of 17 Republican senators who supported the procedural motion, along with all members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“We’ve shown America that we can work together, that we can put aside ideological differences and work together to find common ground on an issue that affects every American,” Collins added. “I’m very elated of what we’ve all done. We still have a lengthy way to go prior we reach the finish line, but this was a very significant first step.”
Independent Senator. Angus King, who holds partisan meetings with Democrats and is part of the bipartisan negotiating group, also called the agreement an “significant first step” in a divide statement.
“For too lengthy, America’s infrastructure needs have remained unaddressed as partisan politics have delayed efforts to meet the needs of our citizens. That is no longer the case,” King said. “Today, our bipartisan group has produced an agreement that will invest in American infrastructure to support our economy, our communities, and our health. From repairs to crumbling roads and bridges to financing to address the threat of climate change and additional resources for us in ports and public transportation, this legislation will make a vast difference in the lives of the American people. “.
As Collins and King emphasized, this process is far from over. The initial vote came on Wednesday prior the text of the motion was published. While it is very encouraging that 67 senators voted to move forward — with breathing room overhead the 60-vote threshold to remove stalling — many of the Republicans who voted for it indicated that they remain hesitant about the final passage. There is also the risk of losing some Democrats, especially on the far left.
And that’s just an uncertain course in the Senate. There could be more roadblocks in the US House of Representatives, as Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi said she won’t go ahead with the bipartisan bill until the Senate passes a larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that includes other investments in areas like education. Childcare and paid leave.
“I can’t commit to passing on something that I don’t yet know what it is,” Pelosi said Wednesday morning. “But I hope for the best.”
We hope you’ll listen to the representative of the Second District in Maine. Jared Golden and nine fellow Democrats, who sent a letter earlier this month urging Pelosi and the House leadership not to delay a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure deal. Golden is also a member of the House Problem Solving Group, which has been involved in bipartisan talks.
“No matter their state, region, or party affiliation, every American will benefit from the investments in the bridges, roads, railroads, ports, and broadband they use to access their jobs, education, health concern, and loved ones.” His colleagues wrote the letter. “The potential benefits are too distinguished and the crucial need to postpone even one day the sending of such a bill to the president’s office.”
While President Joe Biden caused some confusion earlier in the infrastructure negotiations, he provided clear support for the bipartisan agreement announced and presented this week.
“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can work, deliver, and do big things,” Biden said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s Senate vote. “As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the Interstate Highway, we will transform America once again and propel us into the coming.”
It is critical that political parties be competent to work through differences and provide assistance to the American people. This aptitude is almost becoming a lost art in the current political climate, and Congress must persevere to use its muscular bipartisan memory to make it happen. This step in the right direction in the substructure is proof that these muscles are still working.