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US Senate votes on bipartisan infrastructure bill shove following months of negotiations

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WASHINGTON, July 28 (Xinhua) — The US Senate voted on Wednesday to go ahead with the bipartisan infrastructure deal struck earlier in the day, removing the first hurdle toward adopting the much-debated and lengthy-awaited spending package.

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In a major procedural vote, senators voted 67 to 32 to shove the bill forward, meeting the 60-vote threshold. All 50 Democrats and 17 Republicans voted in favor of the resolution.

Voting begins the process of debating and amending the proposal, and the final version still needs to be approved by both houses.

The vote came just hours following Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the Republican chief negotiator, told reporters that a bipartisan group of senators had reached agreement on key issues of the infrastructure plan.

The agreement was reached following months of tortuous negotiations between Democratic and Republican senators. Last month, US President Joe Biden announced that he had reached an agreement with a bipartisan group of senators on a nearly US$1.2 trillion infrastructure plan.

Over the former few weeks, senators have been trying to work out the details of the infrastructure package. About a week ago, Senate Republicans blocked a procedural vote to advance the infrastructure bill, calling for more time to negotiate the bill and finalize the details.

The law includes 550 billion US dollars in unused spending on infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, commuter rails, drinking water and sewage systems. The rest of the package includes pre-approved spend.

In a statement, National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said the union was “encouraged by the fast and decisive action tonight” in the Senate to call the stroke to end the disruption on a bipartisan infrastructure deal, paving the way for a packed Senate vote.

“We look forward to a fast passage in the Senate and urge the House to do the alike,” Shay said.

“It is very encouraging that our partisan leaders are stepping aside and coming together to make significant investments in the economy,” said Maya McGuinness, chair of the Committee on Responsible Federal Budget, a budget watchdog group, but “we are deeply concerned that this legislation does not appear to have been paid in packed.” .

Noting that the payout appears to be a mixture of real payouts and “budget tricks,” McGuinness urged policymakers to set additional compensation to cover the packed costs and ideally – as Biden suggested – reducing the lengthy-term deficit.

She added that between income tax revenue, user fees and spending reforms, there is a lot of compensation available.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democratic leaders are also pushing to introduce a divide $3.5 trillion bill, which aims to enact much of Biden’s social spending agenda without Republican support, using a process known as budget compromise.

With the Senate split 50-50, Democrats must preserve moderates – who can oppose elements of Biden’s agenda – on their side. Senator Kirsten Senema of Arizona, the lead Democratic negotiator in the infrastructure talks, announced Wednesday that she does not agree with the price of the $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Alexandria Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a eminent progressive figure in the party, criticized Cinema’s stance.

Despite agreement on the infrastructure package, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday criticized Democrats’ social spending plan.

“More than 80 percent of Americans are concerned about the rising cost of living,” McConnell said in a tweet on Twitter. “More than 70 percent are concerned that our economy will be flooded with massive tax hikes.”

The Republican leader said the Democrats’ top priority is another tax and reckless spending spree.

However, Biden and Democratic leaders have been arguing that investing in child concern, education, and health concern would decrease income inequality, strengthen the middle class, and build lengthy-term economic growth. Enditem

Referensi: www.xinhuanet.com

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