Schumer Sets Infrastructure, Budget Deadline


July 15, 2021 12:09 pm

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) set a deadline to wrap talks on both the bipartisan infrastructure package and an agreement among all Democrats on moving forward on a budget resolution.

The move puts pressure on Republicans to cut a deal quickly on the $579 billion infrastructure plan and on moderate Democrats to agree to the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint that is moving on a separate, parallel track. Schumer has to manage the tension between centrist Democrats who have led a push for the bipartisan measure, and the party’s progressives, who don’t want to move forward on infrastructure without assurances their priorities will be addressed in the bigger, Democrats-only budget package.

“The time has come to make progress. And we will,” Schumer said today on the Senate floor.

Schumer said he would take a crucial procedural step on Monday that would clear the way for an initial vote next Wednesday on the on the $579 billion infrastructure package. He also said he wants Senate Democrats to agree by Wednesday on moving forward with the budget resolution that will carry other major portions of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

The move creates some political risk. Republicans don’t want the two packages linked, and some Democrats are withholding their support for the budget plan until more details are filled in. In addition, some GOP senators are balking at moving forward on the infrastructure plan without having legislation fully ready. Schumer would need 60 votes in the 50-50 Senate to proceed.

The group of Democratic and Republican senators working on the infrastructure bill were meeting today in an attempt to complete negotiations and discuss Schumer’s deadline. Read more from Erik Wasson and Steven T. Dennis.

Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said today the House can be expected to change and “realign some of those priorities” contained in the $3.5 trillion Senate Democrat budget blueprint, Billy House reports.