Schumer also offered the bipartisan group more time to negotiate if Senate Republicans agree to move on Wednesday. If the cross-legislation is not completed by Thursday, Schumer said the Senate could consider elements of the underlying infrastructure framework that have already passed key committees.
But that did not appease the Republicans, many of whom want to see cost estimates from the non-partisan budget goalkeeper of Congress before voting to start the debate. Republican whip John Thune of South Dakota said he expected 50 Republicans with no votes, including the bipartisan negotiators.
And Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the lead GOP negotiator, said Tuesday that the group was still waiting for legislation to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Tax Committee.
Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) insisted that a failed vote on Wednesday should not mean the end of the road for the group of senators. “We have revived everything except Lazarus here so we can revive this one,” Manchin said after a gala dinner Tuesday.
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the GOP negotiators, is pushing to postpone Monday’s vote, adding that a failed vote Wednesday “is certainly not helpful.” Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) Said that bipartisan group had to discuss Schumer’s remarks on Tuesday before he could say how he would vote on Wednesday.
Republican negotiators are considering sending a letter to Schumer asking him to postpone the vote until next week. But given that Schumer has already started speaking, the simplest way to move the vote will require acquisitions from all 100 senators. And Democrats support Schumer’s move.
On Monday, Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Told members of the bipartisan group: “We rolled this thing out a month ago and we’re still talking about it? Come on guys. Everyone at this call has been around long enough to know that nothing happens unless pressure is put on. ”
Schumer’s push to move forward on that bipartisan infrastructure framework comes as Senate Democrats also draft a $ 3.5 trillion social spending plan that they expect to fight without GOP buy-in. Schumer has also set a Wednesday deadline for Senate Democrats to reach an agreement outlining how committees will construct this bill.
It is not clear whether the failure of the bipartisan agreement would force an increase in the separate bill’s price intake of $ 3.5 trillion.
“It’s a difficult decision,” said Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin. “The fate of the budget resolution is tied to the fate of the bipartisan bill.”
Schumer has long insisted that President Joe Biden’s physical infrastructure and social spending plans continue on two separate tracks. Biden and a two-party group of 10 senators announced agreement on an infrastructure framework in June, but translating this into legislative text has proved to be a heavy boost.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a Republican close to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said the vote would still fail on Wednesday despite Schumer’s requests: “How would he expect us to vote on a bill that does not even exist yet.”
McConnell told reporters Tuesday that Schumer would not be slowed by the failed vote.
“All that does is give him the opportunity to reconsider, and if the bipartisan agreement comes together at another time, we can reconsider the vote,” the GOP leader said. “No time is lost by the very simple principle that we do not go to the bill until we know what the bill is.”
Meanwhile, progressive and central House Democrats are growing increasingly impatient with the bipartisan negotiations, and some even say they hope the deal falls through. At a meeting with House Democrats Tuesday morning, Nancy Pelosi hammered Senate Republicans, accusing them of trying to derail the bipartisan negotiations.
“The public should know that they reject a bipartisan infrastructure approach,” Pelosi told its members, according to people familiar with the remarks.
Pelosi also suggested that Parliament could adapt any bipartisan bill passed by the Senate, a potential response to the growing unrest among some senior Democrats in her election rally. “When we get the Senate bill, we might want to adjust this,” the speaker said.
And while Schumer insisted the vote was not a make-or-break moment for Senate bipartisan negotiations, some progressives do not see it that way.
“They are trying to get everyone to go together, but if that does not happen, we will have to move on,” the rep said. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to reporters.
Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.