Democrats slam Mitch McConnell for taking economy ‘hostage’ by rallying GOP against extending US’s ability to pay its bills on time

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump is still “liable” for his conduct in office.

  • Democrats assailed Mitch McConnell for trying to rally Republicans against raising the debt ceiling.
  • “He’s not going to be able to hold the economy hostage,” a top Democrat said Wednesday.
  • Republicans had previously backed raising the debt ceiling under Trump.
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Congressional Democrats slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Wednesday for threatening to oppose an extension of the US’s ability to pay its bills, a step that could jeopardize the US’s economic recovery if Congress doesn’t act.

Sen. Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters that the national debt ballooned under President Donald Trump as a result of the pandemic and a 2017 Republican tax law that reduced the country’s tax revenue from large corporations. The debt grew $7 trillion under the Trump administration.

“Now Mitch McConnell wants to skip out on paying the bills, we are not going to let him do it. He’s not going to be able to hold the economy hostage,” Wyden said. “We are going to move this quick.”

Wyden said Democrats didn’t make political demands in exchange for supporting raising the debt ceiling while Trump was in office. He described McConnell’s move as “stallball.”

“Mitch McConnell is playing Russian roulette with this economy,” Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranked Democrat in the upper chamber, told reporters.

The Kentucky Republican said in an interview published on Punchbowl News on Monday that Republicans wouldn’t strike a deal with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling, the statutory limit that the federal government can borrow to pay its bills.

McConnell said Democrats would have to do it alone through reconciliation, a legislative track that only requires a majority vote and would therefore be feasible to pass without Republican support.

Wyden declined to answer Insider when asked if it would be difficult to get all 50 Senate Democrats onboard. Still, there were signs that the Biden administration had no intention of striking a deal with the GOP.

“We expect Congress to act in a timely manner to raise or suspend the debt ceiling, as they did three times on a broad bipartisan basis during the last administration,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday. Still, Democrats have not decided how to raise the debt ceiling only nine days before it expires.

“They have to decide what the strategy is, but I do think it’s going to be easy to get Democrats onboard,” Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, told Insider on Wednesday.

The US is scheduled to hit the debt ceiling limit on July 30, two years after it was last extended. But the Treasury Department has the ability to to pay off the US’s debt on its own for a limited time and head off a default with potentially catastrophic consequences for the economy.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecasted on Wednesday the Treasury would “probably” run out of cash sometime in October or November.

Other Democrats simply shrugged off McConnell’s threat.

“‘Meh’ is my official response,” Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, a Democrat sponsoring a bill to abolish the debt ceiling, said in an interview. “Doesn’t matter, we’ll handle our business. This is something the Hill freaks out about every year or so. We will not negotiate over it, we will not concede anything and we won’t fail to do our job.

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Mitch McConnell says GOP won’t strike a deal with Democrats for the US to pay its bills on time, raising risk of derailing the economic recovery

mitch mcconnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does a cable news interview before the start of a two-week recess, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

  • McConnell ruled out GOP cooperation with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling.
  • “I can’t imagine there will be a single Republican voting to raise the debt ceiling after what we’ve been experiencing,” McConnell told Punchbowl News.
  • Treasury Secretary Yellen warned of an “absolutely catastrophic” hit to the recovery if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he doesn’t envision any Congressional Republicans voting alongside Democrats to renew the federal government’s authority to pay its bills.

That raises the prospects of derailing the economic recovery if the debt limit isn’t raised quickly enough.

“I can’t imagine a single Republican in this environment that we’re in now – this free-for-all for taxes and spending – to vote to raise the debt limit,” McConnell told Punchbowl News, adding Democrats would have to raise it alone in a party-line bill that’s taking shape.

The Kentucky Republican’s remarks represents a major warning to Democrats as they begin assembling a $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan that’s poised to clear Congress without GOP votes. That’s the legislative pathway for certain bills to be approved with only a majority vote.

The federal government’s borrowing authority is set to end on July 30.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged lawmakers to raise it as she testified before a panel last month, raising alarm about an “absolutely catastrophic” hit to the economic recovery if the government’s borrowing authority isn’t renewed. Raising the debt limit doesn’t mean federal spending will increase.

If the federal government defaults, Yellen said it could trigger a chain reaction of cash shortages starting with US bond holders that include individuals, businesses, and foreign governments.

The Treasury Department can tap into emergency powers to keep payments flowing until a certain date. But Yellen told Congress it’s tough to predict when those will be exhausted this summer given the economic uncertainty stemming from the pandemic.

Republicans voted to suspend the borrowing limit in July 2019 for two years under President Donald Trump. Experts say Democrats could raise the ceiling in a reconciliation package sometime this fall. But that would require them to list a numerical figure because of the process’s strict budgetary rules, opening the door for GOP political attacks on Democrats as big spenders while the national debt tops $28.5 trillion.

On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina is set to hold a press conference about Democrats’ “reckless tax and spending spree.”

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Big tech and healthcare stocks stand to lose most from potential Biden tax hikes, BlackRock says

  • Large-cap tech and healthcare stocks could suffer the most if US taxes go up or if a global minimum tax is enacted, BlackRock analysts wrote in a note.
  • The category with the biggest market cap and lowest effective rate was information technology, including the likes of Amazon and Microsoft.
  • The analysts suggested investors consider small- and medium-cap firms that are less exposed to international tax changes.
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Large-cap tech and healthcare stocks could suffer the most if US taxes go up or if a global minimum tax is enacted, BlackRock analysts wrote in a note on Monday.

The note examined effective tax rates for each sector of the S&P 500, comparing them to the sector’s relative market cap. The category with the biggest market value and lowest effective rate was information technology, including the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. Communications and healthcare also ranked among the sectors with the lowest effective tax rates.

Graph of effective tax rate versus share of S&P 500 market cap

Ongoing tax negotiations at the OECD could be particularly bad news for health-care and IT firms, which benefit disproportionately from international profit-shifting schemes, the BlackRock analysts noted. The OECD talks have focused on setting a global minimum rate that would prevent companies from using complex accounting tricks to lower their tax liability.

Another potential pain point could come with a domestic tax hike, as the Biden administration considers funding options for its bipartisan infrastructure package. Republicans have ruled out a corporate tax increase for the time being. But a Democrat-only spending package that might include a higher corporate or capital-gains rate remains possible.

The analysts suggested investors consider small- and medium-cap firms that are less exposed to international tax changes. They also pointed to ETFs and municipal bonds, which are tax-exempt, as options for coping with higher taxes.

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Amtrak may not see the full $80 billion Biden suggested, but planned infrastructure laws may finally help it beat out freight trains

President Joe Biden may still bring home the bacon for Amtrak, though less than expected.

  • Biden’s revised $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan doesn’t give Amtrak the $80 billion it was initially promised.
  • Passenger and freight rail will only get a combined $66 billion if the compromise proposal passes.
  • Amtrak may, however, get to take freight rail companies to court over disputes that have been causing lengthy delays.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New details of President Joe Biden’s revised infrastructure plan have emerged following a Thursday compromise with Congressional Republicans. A total of $1.2 trillion in funding will be distributed if the bill is passed in Congress, down from an initial $2 trillion, though some Republicans are already distancing themselves from the plan.

Investments in the nation’s railroads are still a priority in the new plan, largely owing to the president’s former life as an Amtrak-commuting senator.

Read More: He talks to Biden. We talked to him.

The White House maintains that the funding will “Improve healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans by modernizing and expanding transit and rail networks across the country while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Amtrak is ready to support this vision for greater public transit,” an Amtrak spokesperson told Insider.

But the compromise comes with billions of dollars being left behind at the station. Only $66 billion will go to combined passenger and freight rail projects instead of the $80 billion initially allocated for Amtrak.

The national rail provider quickly jumped on board the infrastructure train in March and unveiled its “Amtrak Connects US” plan. New rail lines were imagined and major cities without existing rail services like Phoenix and Nashville, Tennessee were promised connectivity to the national rail network. An investment in high-speed rail was notably absent.

Parts of the plan may still be implemented as the infrastructure plan still represents “the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak,” according to the White House, but the key victory for Amtrak would be a new weapon in its arsenal against freight trains.

Amtrak trains outside of the Northeast Corridor primarily run on tracks owned by freight companies that are, by law, required to give preference to Amtrak trains. But that’s not often the reality on America’s tracks and lengthy delays are often incurred by long-distance passenger trains as a result.

If Amtrak can get enforceable laws on the books to give it a leg up against Big Rail Freight, on-time performances on long-distance routes will improve. Fewer delayed trains could make the mode of travel a more reliable and consistent alternative to flying and driving, especially as Amtrak is spending $28 million on upgrades to its Superliner and Viewliner train cars.

Rep. Peter DeFazio’s House Transportation Committee is spearheading the effort to give Amtrak the right to have federal courts settle disputes with freight companies.

“Right now they’ve got it the way they want it,” DeFazio said of rail freight companies in an interview, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. “So we’re going to change the law and give Amtrak better access.”

Amtrak’s enthusiasm surrounding the planned $80 billion investment also didn’t go to waste. States and localities across the US, excited by the idea of new rail service, have been eager to work with Amtrak on new state-sponsored routes.

In Colorado, officials are working towards a new rail line along Interstate 25 in what’s known as the Front Range corridor between Fort Collins and Pueblo, according to the Denver Post. Amtrak is also petitioning Congress to make it easier for states to get new services by not forcing them to foot a lion’s share of the bill, which is what the law requires at present.

Amtrak spokesperson Marc Molinari attributes the excitement to Amtrak finally going on the offensive instead of having to constantly defend itself and its spending.

Roger Harris, Amtrak’s chief marketing and revenue officer, told Insider on June 15 that the $80 billion plan was “extremely ambitious” but “even part of it would be revolutionary.”

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S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures hover near record highs after Joe Biden strikes $1 trillion infrastructure deal, while oil prices rise

Joe Biden Rob Portman infrastructure deal
President Joe Biden (right) reached a deal with Republicans on infrastructure.

S&P 500 futures hovered near a record high on Friday after President Joe Biden struck a deal with Republicans on a $1 trillion infrastructure deal, which includes $579 billion of new spending.

Futures for the benchmark S&P 500 were up 0.05%, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.04%, after both indices hit a record high on Thursday. Dow Jones futures rose 0.26%, with industrial firms more likely to benefit from infrastructure spending.

In Asia overnight, China’s CSI 300 jumped 1.63% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.66%. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.09% in early trading.

President Biden’s deal would see over $1 trillion spent on upgrading the US’s infrastructure over the next eight years. Roads, bridges and rail networks would be particular priorities.

Biden pushed Congress to pass the bill on Thursday, saying: “We have to move and we have to move fast.”

Oil prices extended their rally on Friday, heading for a fifth weekly consecutive gain, with Brent crude up 0.36% to $75.82 a barrel and WTI crude up 0.27% to $73.50.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “News of the infrastructure plan also spilled over to the oil price in anticipation of further energy demand.”

The deal helped push a broad range of stocks higher, including Caterpillar and Tesla, which both climbed more than 2.5%.

Bank shares also rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve said lenders had passed stress tests and could resume stock buybacks and dividend payments.

Elsewhere, falling bond yields suggested investors are becoming comfortable with the central bank’s management of the economy and markets.

The yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note, which moves inversely to the price, was roughly flat on Friday at 1.488%, down sharply from a high of more than 1.75% touched at the end of March. The dollar index was down 0.1% to 91.72.

One possible obstacle for markets is the release of the May core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, due at 8.30 a.m. ET. Analysts expect a 3.4% increase from 3.1% in April.

“While Fed officials have assured us that all of this is likely to be transitory, a high number could well give the markets pause,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at trading platform CMC Markets, said.

Bitcoin slipped 1.8% to $34.226, according to Bloomberg data. The cryptocurrency fell below $30,000 on Tuesday, but investors have since shown willingness to buy the dip.

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Bipartisan group of senators reach deal for ‘framework’ of infrastructure package, to meet with Biden tomorrow

Susan Collins
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrives on Senate subway for a vote in the Capitol in December 2020.

  • The bipartisan group of senators meeting with White House officials said they reached a ‘framework’ for a deal.
  • They will present their framework for the massive spending package to President Joe Biden tomorrow.
  • Senators will still need to draft legislation and gin up 60 votes in the Senate to pass the bill.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A bipartisan coalition of senators secured a tentative agreement with White House staff on the highly prioritized infrastructure spending package.

On Wednesday, Senators involved in the negotiations, including Sens. Susan Collins, Joe Manchin, and Mitt Romney, announced that they had reached the “framework,” for a bill on the spending.

“There’s a framework of agreement on a bipartisan infrastructure package,” Collins told reporters on Wednesday after the meeting. “There’s still details to be worked out.”

The senators, who did not publicly share the new framework, said that they would brief President Joe Biden on the deal tomorrow and begin to work out details for how the hundreds of billions of dollars, or more, of infrastructure spending will be paid for.

Bloomberg reported that the bipartisan deal stands at $559 billion, instead of $579 billion, with broadband funds repurposed.

Senators leaving the meeting indicated that they reportedly agreed on how the spending would be financed.

The last proposal by the bipartisan group of senators was not taken up by the White House, and after today’s breakthrough, senators will still need to draft legislation and gin up 60 votes in the Senate to pass the bill.

Simultaneously, Senate Democrats are considering pushing through an infrastructure package drafted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Through budget reconciliation in July, an infrastructure package could be approved without GOP support.

“White House senior staff had two productive meetings today with the bipartisan group of Senators who have been negotiating about infrastructure,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Wednesday, confirming the upcoming meeting. “The group made progress toward an outline of a potential agreement, and the President has invited the group to come to the White House tomorrow to discuss this in-person.”

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Joe Manchin appears close to making up his mind. Here’s what he wants in an infrastructure plan.

Joe Manchin
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

  • Joe Manchin holds singular sway over Biden’s economic agenda and his spending plans.
  • Over the past few months he has held back from offering policy specifics, but that’s changing.
  • He’s indicated he wants an infrastructure plan that includes a partial rollback of Trump’s tax cuts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is poised to play a critical role in President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

The influential Democratic centrist nearly derailed passage of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package when he pressed for a last-minute cut to federal unemployment benefits. It sent Democrats scrambling to secure his support for 12 hours – they eventually agreed to a reduction.

With Democrats essentially needing to pass major legislation via reconciliation – which requires all 50 members of the parties to vote in favor – Manchin remains the swing vote on infrastructure.

Manchin now holds major sway in ongoing bipartisan infrastructure negotiations. He’s pushing both parties to strike a deal over the objection of fellow Democrats and progressives who view the talks as alternately a waste of time or something that could produce a significantly watered-down bill.

On Tuesday, Manchin opened the door to a Democrat-only package. He’s largely held back from offering policy specifics, but here’s an overview of what Manchin seeks from a new economic spending bill:

  • An increase of the corporate tax rate to 25% from 21%.
  • Boosting nuclear and hydrogen energy, along with carbon capture technology.
  • Some social initiatives from Biden’s “human infrastructure” plan.
  • Up to $4 trillion in infrastructure spending.
  • A slew of new taxes to finance it.

On Tuesday, Manchin offered some of his clearest rationale yet behind why he wants to raise corporate taxes in an interview with NBC News:

“Republicans have drawn a line in the sand on not changing anything, and I thought the 2017 tax bill was a very unfair bill, and weighted to a side that basically did not benefit the average American. So I voted against it. I think there are some adjustments that need to be made.”

Manchin chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which The Hill first reported is slated to mark up a 423-page legislative draft aimed at strengthening the nation’s energy infrastructure on Thursday. It contains provisions to boost electric grid resiliency as well as the energy efficiency of housing and commercial buildings.

It remains unclear how much of Biden’s education, healthcare, and childcare initiatives Manchin will ultimately embrace. His office declined to comment earlier this month on whether the West Virginia senator supported the permanent expansion of the child tax credit.

But the Democrats’ pivotal swing vote looks like he may be ready to make a deal.

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Bernie Sanders says he won’t support the bipartisan infrastructure bill if its paid for by raising gas taxes or creating fees on electric vehicles

Bernie Sanders
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday he didn’t support the latest proposal for a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
  • Sanders expressed concerns over how lawmakers may pay for the bill.
  • He said he did not support an increased tax on gasoline or imposing fees on electric vehicles.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that he believes the contents of a bipartisan infrastructure bill are “mostly good,” but said he has concerns over how lawmakers may decide to fund it.

Sanders, an Independent, made the comments during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“What is in the bipartisan bill in terms of spending is, from what I can see, mostly good. It is roads and bridges, and we need to do that. That is what we are proposing in our legislation but in much greater numbers,” he said.

Sanders noted that the current draft of the legislation covers just about a quarter of what President Joe Biden had asked for as part of his ambitious proposal earlier this year. Sanders has drafted his own $6 trillion plan, as Insider previously reported.

“One of the concerns that I do have about the bipartisan bill is how they are going to pay for their proposals, and they’re not clear yet,” he added. “I don’t know that they even know yet.”

Sanders said there was speculation that lawmakers would propose paying for the bill by raising the federal gas tax, by imposing a fee on electric vehicles, and by privatizing infrastructure. As Axios reported, Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, last week proposed using leftover COVID-19 funding and creating a tax on electric vehicles.

“Those are proposals that I would not support,” Sanders said Sunday.

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd asked Sanders if he would back the bill if there was support among Democrats, including moderate Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, for a second bill passed through the Senate’s reconciliation process that would address his other concerns.

As Insider previously reported, reconciliation is a legislative tactic that allows lawmakers to avoid the filibuster by requiring just 51 votes, though it involves strict budgetary rules.

“I don’t know that anybody could give you an honest answer to that because nobody really knows what is going to be in this bipartisan agreement and how it is going to be paid for,” Sanders said.

“So if it is roads and bridges, yeah, of course, we need to do that, and I support that. If it is regressive taxation, you know, raising the gas tax or a fee on electric vehicles, or the privatization of infrastructure, no I wouldn’t support it. But we don’t have the details right now,” he added.

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The GOP’s hopes on striking an infrastructure deal with Biden: torching his proposed tax hikes

McConnell leadership
From left, Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Senate Republican Policy Committee Chair Roy Blunt of Missouri.

  • Senate Republicans increasingly believe striking an infrastructure deal with Biden could derail some of his tax hikes.
  • Not every Senate Democrat is onboard with Biden’s planned programs or methods to finance them.
  • Passing a party-line bill is “going to take a lot of coordination in our Democratic caucus,” one Senate Democrat said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bipartisan negotiations on a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure package are poised to stretch into next week as lawmakers struggle to resolve key disagreements on how to finance it.

Democrats are pushing for a multitrillion-dollar package that would provide cash benefits to parents and set up universal pre-K, along with upgrades to roads and bridges – all paid for with tax increases on rich Americans and large firms.

But Senate Republicans are starting to believe that striking a deal with President Joe Biden on an infrastructure plan could torch the rest of his economic agenda, particularly some of those tax hikes and his planned social initiatives.

“I think if we can agree on an infrastructure package that’s paid for, we should,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told Insider. “But the Democrats want to do more on what I would call non-infrastructure and I assume they’ll try and do that in reconciliation.”

He went on: “The biggest challenge they have right now is not Republicans, it’s Democrats disagreeing on the use of reconciliation for that purpose.”

At least one senior Republican shared the assessment that Democrats’ use of the party-line approach could face a rocky path ahead, as all 50 Democrats in the Senate would have to remain united on a separate plan.

“It’ll be awful hard to get those moderate Democrats to be for that,” Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranked Senate Republican, told reporters on Monday. “The stars are kind of lining up for an infrastructure bill. And if you do do something bipartisan on that, then I think doing something partisan on reconciliation – in some ways, with certain Democrats – it gets a lot harder.”

Progressives are pushing for Democrats to scrap the talks so a massive package can be approved without Republican support. In an interview with Insider last month, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York singled out national paid leave and affordable childcare as the pair of initiatives most at jeopardy of being dropped from the talks entirely.

Those liberals are at odds with centrist-leaning Democrats who want the discussions to continue. Some have already expressed unease with Biden’s tax hikes on the rich to finance new programs – which could potentially cut the scope of a follow-up package. Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Bob Menendez favor scaling back Biden’s tax increase on capital gains, Politico reported.

“I know there needs to be reconciliation,” Warner told reporters on Thursday. “But that also doesn’t mean that I accept all of what the president has proposed.”

Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a key Biden ally in Congress, said he favors striking a deal with Republicans if possible, but he also backs a separate party-line bill which he acknowledged has no margin of error.

“I am equally determined to move ahead with a reconciliation package that will delivers on Biden’s boldest policy proposals and I think it is possible for us to do both,” he said in a recent interview. “But it’s going to take a lot of coordination in our Democratic caucus.”

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10 Democrats and 11 Republicans sign onto bipartisan infrastructure deal, but nobody knows what’s in it

biden pittsburg infrastructure plan getty
President Joe Biden unveils part of his infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh on March 31.

  • Eleven Republican senators and ten Democrats issued a statement saying they support a bipartisan infrastructure package.
  • That figure of Republicans could be enough for the skinny plan to clear the chamber, but some Democrats are already against it.
  • Details on the bipartisan framework have been scarce.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A group of eleven Republican and ten Democratic Senators announced on Wednesday that they supported a bipartisan infrastructure framework.

Sens. Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, Maggie Hassan, John Hickenlooper, Mark Kelly, Angus King, Joe Manchin, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Mike Rounds, Jeanne Shaheen, Kyrsten Sinema, Jon Tester, Thom Tillis, Mark Warner, and Todd Young issued a joint statement outlining their support. Senator Jerry Moran threw in his support after the joint statement was issued, bringing the number of Senators who support the package up to 21.

The group is almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. That amount of Republicans would be enough to approve the package if every Democrat lined up behind it – an unlikely scenario, given that at least three senators say they’re opposed to its lackluster climate provisions.

None of the details of the package have been made public, though some details have emerged. The framework is concentrated on physical infrastructures like roads and bridges, with limited support for electric charging stations.

In the US Senate Budget Committee, this week, Democrats met to discuss a budget resolution, which would trigger the reconciliation process. That’s a tactic that would allow Democrats to approve the legislation in a party-line vote.

“We have a lot of things we have to do to help the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said as he left the meeting. And we have to have unity to do it and everyone has to listen to one another.”

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