Biden pushes infrastructure package ahead of anticipated vote

WASHINGTON DC (Agencies): President Biden on Saturday took to Twitter to push his $1 trillion infrastructure package ahead of the Senate’s scheduled vote to wind down debate on the bill, which was crafted through ongoing bipartisan negotiations.

The president called the spending package “a historic, once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” adding that it would “create good-paying, union jobs repairing our roads and bridges, replacing lead pipes, and building energy transmission lines.”

“We can’t afford not to do it,” he added.

Minutes later, Biden posted again from his official Twitter account, writing, “We can’t just build back to the way things were before COVID-19, we have to build back better.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and my Build Back Better plan will grow our economy, and create an average of 2 million good-paying jobs every year over the next decade,” he argued.

The last-minute push for the spending package comes as Democrats need at least 10 GOP senators to vote in favor of beginning an end to debate on the package when they meet Saturday afternoon.

Seventeen Republicans, including Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), previously helped advance the bill, and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) has also expressed support.

However, several of the GOP lawmakers are considered flip votes as tensions have risen among the party over the large amounts of spending called for in the package.

A White House official told The Hill Saturday that Vice President Harris would be traveling to Capitol Hill for meetings to discuss the bipartisan infrastructure package, which comes as Democrats are also looking to pass a $3.5 trillion budget resolution.

Internal debate among Republicans has especially intensified following the Congressional Budget Office’s release of a report this week detailing that the infrastructure package could add $256 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade.

Biden’s predecessor, former President Trump, levied strong criticisms against the package on Saturday ahead of the 1 p.m. vote, calling the bill a “disgrace” and urging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to negotiate a better deal.

“If Mitch McConnell was smart, which we’ve seen no evidence of, he would use the debt ceiling card to negotiate a good infrastructure package,” Trump wrote in a statement from his Save America PAC.

Trump also warned Saturday that he would find it “very hard” to “endorse anyone foolish enough to vote in favor of this deal,” a potential threat to any Republican lawmakers hoping to gain support from the former president, who has spent his time since leaving the Oval Office handing out endorsements to allied candidates ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

$1T infrastructure bill passes key test vote: The Senate on Saturday voted to start wrapping up a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan package, clearing a key hurdle to finishing the bill.

Senators voted 67-27 to advance the bill. Eighteen GOP senators voted with all Democrats to help get the legislation over the 60-vote hurdle.

Without an agreement, the bill will face another vote on Sunday to formally shut down debate and put the bill on a glide path to passage. If every Democrat continues to vote yes, that means they need to have 10 GOP senators in order to get over the final hurdle for the bill.

Saturday’s session comes after senators tried, but ultimately failed, to get a deal that would have let them wrap up the bill late Thursday night or early Friday morning. As part of the deal, senators were also trying to set up a marathon session to vote on up to 20 additional amendments making potential changes to the bill.

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