UPDATED 6:58 AM PT – Saturday, July 31, 2021
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to be growing more optimistic in coming together on a bipartisan infrastructure package. On Friday, Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) and members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus held a press briefing to detail the progress of a potential package.
The briefing came shortly after the Senate voted 66 to 28 to pass a motion to proceed on the bill. A total of 16 Republicans, including Sens. Cassidy, Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) all sided with Democrat senators during the vote.
The bill is estimated to cost Americans more than $1 trillion and is expected to be allocated to fund projects. Additionally, around $550 billion of those funds are expected to be allocated to fund projects beyond traditional infrastructure, including expanding rural broadband and setting up more electric vehicle charging stations.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 30, 2021
However, proponents of the package are worried deficit hawks will throw a wrench in its passage as supporters aim to pay for the bill through untapped COVID-19 relief funds and future economic growth projections.
In the meantime, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is expected to reveal the official 2,500 page bill to supporters soon, before making it public. Lawmakers in both Chambers have stressed they may have to work through the weekend in order to pass the bill before Congress goes on August recess.