- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would vote to advance the bipartisan infrastructure deal.
- The procedural vote will advance a vehicle of the bill, which will later be replaced with legislative text.
- McConnell’s approval comes after Sens. Portman and Sinema met with President Biden last month to negotiate the framework of the infrastructure deal.
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he would vote to advance the bipartisan infrastructure bill that GOP lawmakers have staunchly opposed in recent weeks.
The Senate is scheduled to hold a procedural vote to advance a vehicle for the bill on Wednesday evening, which will later be replaced by the amendments proposed by GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona.
Portman and Sinema met with President Joe Biden last month to negotiate the framework of the infrastructure deal, later announcing they had reached an agreement.
“Based on a commitment from Leader Schumer to Senators Portman and Sinema that the Portman-Sinema amendment to be filed will be the substitute amendment, I will vote to proceed to the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” McConnell tweeted Wednesday evening.
McConnell’s support will likely ensure the agreement gets enough Republican votes to advance. A final vote on the bill could come sometime in the next two weeks.
The bipartisan agreement is the product of nearly a month of tumultuous negotiations between Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans and the Biden administration. It will provide nearly $550 billion in fresh funding to repair roads and bridges, along with upgrading broadband connections nationwide.
It will by covered by a blend of revenue sources including unspent coronavirus relief funding, new cryptocurrency tax enforcement, and some corporate user fees, per a White House fact sheet.
Democrats want to move that package in tandem with a $3.5 trillion party-line spending package that will contain many social initiatives strongly opposed by Republicans. That will embark on the arduous reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority vote and all 50 Senate Democrats to stick together.