On Wednesday, Senate Republicans blocked a procedural vote to advance a massive bipartisan infrastructure bill, saying it is premature to do so while negotiators are still ironing out its details. The infrastructure bill, ultimately expected to be worth $600 billion, has been a key priority of President Joe Biden.

GOP senators blocked consideration of the measure with 49 votes, voting down Sen. Chuck Schumer’s bid to move debate forward while negotiators from both parties have yet to find common ground over issues such as funding for transit and how to pay for the package. The bipartisan bill focuses on brick-and-mortar projects while Democrats prefer a version that seeks $3.5 trillion for wider related issues like climate change initiatives and “human infrastructure” such as childcare.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who is part of that bipartisan group that worked on the framework of the bill, called on Schumer to delay Wednesday’s vote until Monday because negotiators are close to reaching a full agreement. Romney said: “Until we’ve ironed out all of the remaining issues, Wednesday is premature, but I think Monday would be sufficient time for us to get all the remaining issues solved, and socialize the legislation with our colleagues so they know how they want to vote.”

Editorial credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

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