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Senate faces ‘hellish fight’ amid doubts over infrastructure investments
The US Senate returned to one of its most ambitious agendas in years on Monday, with Democratic President Joe Biden seeking billions of dollars in infrastructure spending and Republicans promising “one hell of a fight” against tax hikes to pay the price.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened the Senate after a two-week recess on July 4, declaring progress has been made on $ 1.2 trillion two-party infrastructure plan and the first step towards another measure that would pass with only Democratic votes.
But given the 50-50 split in the Senate, it was not certain that the Democratic leader could achieve goal of adopting both measures across the House by August.
âIf and when we are successful, the benefits will ripple across the country for generations to come,â Schumer said.
Work continued on the bipartite part of the package, which Biden touted to voters, but the plan’s senior Republican Senator Rob Portman told reporters he did not know when detailed negotiations would be completed.
Roy Blunt, member of the Republican leadership of the Senate, said: “It would be a pretty amazing thing” if a bill that garners the support of all Democrats could also capture the 10 needed Republicans to push it along.
Last week, Schumer’s Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell has promised a “hellish fight” on the expected next phase of the process – a partisan and democratic initiative – while leaving open the possibility of its support for the emerging bipartisan bill.