With the House of Representatives delaying a vote on a long-term infrastructure bill late last week, the Senate is now looking at a different deadline.
The initial aim was to have a bill pass both chambers by now, but the new deadline is now Oct. 31, which is when current transportation funding expires.
The Senate needs to win over two Democrats to approve the economic package, Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.). President Biden said both the infrastructure bill and an economic package are co-dependent of each other for survival. One cannot pass without the other. Manchin believes the $3.5 trillion economic package is too high and would like to see something around $1.5 trillion. The Senate needs 50 votes to move the measure to the House. Right now the number stands at 48. The House cannot allow three Democratic lawmakers to stray.
The $1 trillion infrastructure bill is expected to give high-speed rail a major boost, and also will provide funding for some projects that have been on the back burner for quite some time, like New York’s Gateway Project.