Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Aug. 1 that she believes the $1 trillion infrastructure bill backed by the White House has the support of at least 10 Republican senators, suggesting the measure will clear the 60-vote filibuster.
Collins, in a comment on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said the legislation has enough backing to pass in the chamber this week.
“I think we will be able to lay down the bill later today and begin perhaps consideration of some amendments,” Collins said. “My hope is that we’ll finish the bill by the end of the week.”
For weeks, some Republican and Democrat senators have negotiated over the legislation after President Joe Biden publicly backed the measure, which includes funding for new bridges, roads, public transportation, water pipes, and broadband Internet.
Senators voted 66-28 to advance the bill last week, although the final legislative text hasn’t yet been released. On Aug. 1, Collins said that some parts of the text were shared with senators in recent days.
“This bill is good for America,” Collins remarked. “Every senator can look at bridges and roads and need for more broadband, waterways in their state, seaports, and airports, and see the benefits, the very concrete benefits—no pun intended—of this legislation.”
The Maine senator said she expects the measure to be introduced and approved this week.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told the same CNN program that he expects the final text of the bill to be available on Aug. 1, which will allow the upper chamber to consider the legislation as early as that night with final passage being a possibility by later in the week.
But whether the bill gets taken up in the House, which is controlled by Democrats, is another question.
Some Democrats in the Senate and House said the infrastructure bill shouldn’t be passed unless a massive $3.5 trillion bill that includes climate and social programs is guaranteed. Republicans are vehemently opposed to the measure, pointing to its price tag amid a rise in inflation.
Democrats have said that they should use the budget reconciliation tactic that would allow them to bypass the 60-vote filibuster to pass the measure with a simple majority.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) linked the passage of the $3.5 trillion legislation, which is particularly favored by far-left members of Congress, to the infrastructure bill. The speaker suggested that the House wouldn’t take up the infrastructure bill if the larger measure isn’t approved.
“The fact is that the president has said he wants to have a bipartisan bill, and we all do, but that is not the limitation of the vision of the president,” Pelosi told ABC News. “I won’t put it on the floor until we have the rest of the initiative.”