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Infrastructure proposal: Republicans plan to block vote on double-party bill and push for more time to write it

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But lawmakers said their negotiations will intensify over the next few days with the goal of trying to promote the measure again early next week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has defended his decision to set up Wednesday’s vote despite Republican opposition, pointing out that the bipartisan group has spent more than a month negotiating.

“There’s no reason for it to fail,” Schumer said Tuesday. “What’s the reason? They say they need the whole bill text, they have not asked for it on bill after bill after bill.”

That bipartisan effort is part of a two-track strategy to advance the White House’s comprehensive economic agenda, as Democrats lay the groundwork for promoting a $ 3.5 trillion package that expands the social safety net. Democrats have suggested that some elements of the bipartisan plan could be rolled into the only democratic package if they cannot promote the narrower measure. However, some moderate Democrats are already wary of adding the conspicuous price.

In June, the White House and a bipartisan group in the Senate entered into a $ 579 billion deal in new spending on building roads, bridges, railroads and airports along with water, power and broadband infrastructure projects.

But lawmakers have since struggled to figure out how to pay for the massive investment. They made their task even more difficult by agreeing to scrap a provision that would have strengthened the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to collect unpaid taxes, which would have raised up to $ 100 billion in government revenue. Nor have they solved other problems, including how much transit funding needs to be provided, according to a Senate GOP source.

Mitt Romney, one of the Republican negotiators, said Tuesday that senators had “probably solved three-quarters” of their questions in the past two days and predicted they could train the rest “before the end of the week.”

Romney said he wanted the vote to be pushed back to early next week.

“I hope Senator Schumer will have the vote on Monday when we have had a chance to resolve any remaining, outstanding issues,” Romney said.

CNN’s Morgan Rimmer contributed to this report.

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