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Mitch McConnell insists lawmakers should see $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in full before voting

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted lawmakers should have the option to read a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill before deciding whether or not they should vote for it – after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a vote for Wednesday. 

On Monday, Schumer announced he will file cloture, setting up a procedural vote for Wednesday on the unfinished legislation for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package. 

But it’s unclear if the legislation will be finalized by then, with several Republican senators say they need more time and won’t vote without seeing the bill’s text. 

‘I think we need to see the bill before we decide whether or not to vote for it,’ McConnell told reporters. ‘I think that’s pretty easily understood.’ 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (pictured) believes lawmakers should have the option to glance at a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill before deciding whether or not they should vote for it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (pictured) believes lawmakers should have the option to glance at a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill before deciding whether or not they should vote for it.

On Monday, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (pictured) announced he will file cloture, a legislative procedure that sets up the Wednesday vote for President Joe Biden's bipartisan package.

On Monday, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (pictured) announced he will file cloture, a legislative procedure that sets up the Wednesday vote for President Joe Biden’s bipartisan package.

 He was joined by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who told CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday: ‘We shouldn’t have an arbitrary deadline of Wednesday.

‘We should bring the legislation forward when it’s ready.’ 

Democrats are pushing Republicans to come to the table on the bipartisan infrastructure plan, which is expected to provide $579 billion in new spending, with $300 billion to go toward transportation and an additional $250 billion going toward broadband, power and water infrastructure.      

However, as Wednesday’s deadline inches closer, a lack of consensus over pay-fors continues, with the group choosing to throw out plans to offset an immense portion of the costs by strengthening IRS enforcement.    

Republican Senator Rob Portman said lawmakers removed President Joe Biden's plan to help pay for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package by increasing the Internal Revenue Service's tax collection powers on evaders

Republican Senator Rob Portman said lawmakers removed President Joe Biden’s plan to help pay for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package by increasing the Internal Revenue Service’s tax collection powers on evaders

There is a chance the IRS provision could be placed in a reconciliation bill being worked out among Democrats that contains $3.5 trillion in 'human' infrastructure programs such as free pre-K and community college, expanded paid family and medical leave and climate change

There is a chance the IRS provision could be placed in a reconciliation bill being worked out among Democrats that contains $3.5 trillion in ‘human’ infrastructure programs such as free pre-K and community college, expanded paid family and medical leave and climate change

But there is a chance the IRS provision could be placed in a reconciliation bill being worked out among Democrats that contains $3.5 trillion in ‘human’ infrastructure programs such as free pre-K and community college, expanded paid family and medical leave and climate change. 

Both pieces of legislation are being finalized with questions remaining on how they will be paid for.    

Administration officials believed they could collect at least $700 billion over the next 10 years. The IRS estimates it only collects 84 per cent of the money its owned in taxes each year, which results in a loss of $406 billion per year. 

The bipartisan infrastructure plan is expected to provide $579 billion in new spending, with $300 billion to go toward transportation. Pictured, the New York City subway system

The bipartisan infrastructure plan is expected to provide $579 billion in new spending, with $300 billion to go toward transportation. Pictured, the New York City subway system

President Biden hit back at inflation fears, saying that price rises were 'temporary' and 'expected' as the nation tried to bounce back from the pandemic

President Biden hit back at inflation fears, saying that price rises were ‘temporary’ and ‘expected’ as the nation tried to bounce back from the pandemic

That amount is a combination of $458 billion not paid and $52 billion not collected from those who are delinquent, according to the watchdog group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. 

‘In terms of IRS reform, or IRS tax gap, which is what was in the original proposal, that will no longer be in our proposal. It will be in the larger reconciliation bill, we are told. And that’s the two tracks here,’ Portman said on CNN Sunday.    

Portman also noted that Republican lawmakers received pushback on the provision, which resulted in their decision not to back the language.

‘Well, one reason it’s not part of the proposal is that we did have pushback,’ he continued.

‘Another reason is that we found out that the Democrats were going to put a proposal into the reconciliation package, which was not just similar to the one we had, but with a lot more IRS enforcement.’  

On Monday, President Biden hit back at growing concerns that his massive spending plans were driving up inflation, insisting that price rises were ‘temporary’ and ‘expected’ as the nation tried to bounce back from the pandemic.

Fears of inflation are emerging as a key obstacle for passing his infrastructure and family plans.

And Republicans are using the data to argue that the administration’s tidal wave of spending is making life worse for working families by driving up prices of staples such as milk and gas.

But Biden said the investments would rebuild U.S. supply chains and ease pressure on production that had contributed to rising prices.

‘If we make prudent, multi-year investments in better roads, bridges, transit systems and high speed internet, in a modern resilient electric grid, here’s what will happen: It breaks up the bottlenecks in our economy; goods get to consumers more rapidly and less expensively; small businesses create and innovate much more seamlessly,’ he in a White House address from the State Dining room.   

A top priority of President Biden’s, the bill needs all 50 Senate Democrats on board, including moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin, who has questioned all the legislation will be fully funded. 



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