Negotiations continue in the Senate for a bipartisan infrastructure agreement. Though Senate Republicans blocked a motion to advance the framework this week, lead GOP negotiators have assured Democrats that Republicans will be ready to proceed next week.
According to negotiators, nearly every major issue has been resolved, with the exception of transit funding. Eighty percent of transit funding typically goes to highways, with the remaining 20 percent going to public transit, but Republicans are reportedly trying to increase the share devoted to highways.
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) said the group of twenty bipartisan negotiators needed the weekend to finalize certain provisions and prepare a summary in advance of a vote next week. President Biden and the White House are supportive of the timeline and are confident that an agreement will be reached.
Should a bipartisan agreement not be reached, Senate Democrats are prepared to fold the $600 billion from the bipartisan framework into a larger reconciliation package that would only be able to pass with Democratic support.
On July 21, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), joined by thirty House Democrats, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) advocating for various provisions from the House-passed INVEST in America Act to be included in BIF. On July 20, Rep.
DeFazio also circulated a Dear Colleague letter outlining the key difference between the House and Senate’s surface transportation bills, specifically highlighting the discrepancy in climate spending.