Infrastructure deal out of Senate, but battle over separate $3.5T spending plan looms

Washington

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Democrat-controlled Senate on Tuesday passed a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling it “the most robust injection of funds into infrastructure in decades.”

Every Democrat in the Upper Chamber and 19 Republicans voted yes on the plan. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, helped draft it.

“It’s an investment in fixing up our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our railroads,” Portman said. “We know we need this investment. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our American infrastructure a grade of C-minus.”

The deal also includes about $65 billion for broadband internet expansion.

“…We have learned during the pandemic (broadband) is no longer a luxury but a necessity for educating our children, but also on the farm to be able to continue to improve in our sustainability,” Andrew Walmsley with the American Farm Bureau Federation said.

The majority of Republicans oppose the bill. They say it will open the door to liberal priorities included in Democrats’ massive $3.5 trillion spending plan, which was released Monday.

“A stunning, staggering, insane amount of money … to literally give people free everything,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., described that plan, which will pay for expanding Medicare, tax breaks for child care, clean energy initiatives and more.

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., argued pouring so much more money into the economy with cause inflation to surge and hurt industry.

“The tax portion of this bill would be so much that the net would be a horrible thing for their businesses,” Marshall said. “I’m going to do everything I can, though, to stop this.”

Democrats have already started debate on the spending plan and they intend to push it through Congress with or without Republicans on board.

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