Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has scheduled a vote for Saturday, August 7, to end debate on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a comprehensive $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
After the Senate takes a final vote on the legislation, it will begin consideration of a $3.5 trillion budget resolution.
What We’re Hearing
- According to a Hill staffer, the House is likely to return from its August recess to take up the IIJA, in addition to a budget reconciliation package. Depending on the timing of the Senate’s passage of the bill, the House could return the week of August 16.
What the White House Is Saying
- White House releases fact sheets promoting IIJA.This week the White House released various factsheets on the IIJA, including:
o State-by-state fact sheets
o Top 10 Programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act That You May Not Have Heard About
o The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Creates Good-Paying Jobs and Supports Workers
o Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Advancing Economic and Public Health Opportunities for Communities of Color
o UPDATED FACT SHEET: Bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act
What Members Are Saying
- Senate introduces the IIJA.On August 2, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a five-year, $1 trillion comprehensive infrastructure package, was formally introduced in the Senate. In addition to baseline spending, the legislation includes $550 billion in new funding for transportation – roads, bridges, ports, airports, rail, and transit – as well as water infrastructure, broadband, power infrastructure, climate resiliency, and cybersecurity. Squire Patton Boggs has drafted a breakdown of the bill’s topline numbers.
- Schumer will keep Senate in session until it passes IIJA and budget resolution.Although the Senate was scheduled to adjourn for a five-week recess on August 6, Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) has stated he will keep the chamber in session until it passes both the IIJA and a $3.5 trillion budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that will be used to advance President Biden’s remaining social infrastructure priorities. Leader Schumer has scheduled a vote to end debate on the IIJA on Saturday, August 7. A final vote on the legislation could also take place on Saturday. Once the Senate wraps up the IIJA, it will then turn its focus to passing a budget resolution, which will require a vote-a-rama process where Senators can offer an unlimited number of amendments.
- CBO projects IIJA will add $256 billion to deficit. On August 5, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score of the IIJA, which estimates the legislation will add $256 billion to the national deficit. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the lead negotiators of the legislation, notedthe CBO could not formally score several offsets included in the bill.
- Unspent pandemic relief funds, cryptocurrency among hundreds of amendments filed by Senators. Over the course of the week, Senators have filed hundreds of amendments to the IIJA, and so far, have voted on twenty-two. Notably, an amendmentoffered by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) would allow states to spend up to 30% of their unused pandemic relief funds on infrastructure projects, while two competing amendments go to different lengths to limit the bill’s cryptocurrency reporting requirements. The Republican Policy Committee has published a live amendment tracker.
- Transit title of surface transportation reauthorization unveiled in IIJA.The IIJA includes a new transit title for surface transportation reauthorization. To accompany its release, the Senate Committee on Banking released a section-by-section summary, a reauthorization table for public transportation, and a state-by-state breakdown of transit funding. The IIJA also includes the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (which covers highways) and the Surface Transportation Investment Act (which covers rail, motor carriers, and safety).
- Pelosi reiterates House will not consider IIJA without reconciliation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) again reiterated this week that the House will not consider the IIJA until the Senate also passes a reconciliation package. Passing a reconciliation bill in an evenly-divided Senate requires at least fifty-one votes including the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, and moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have not committedto supporting a sweeping multitrillion-dollar bill.
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