Collins And Manchin See Light At End Of Infrastructure Bill Tunnel This Week

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, and Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, speak with reporters during a news ... WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, and Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, speak with reporters during a news conference with a bipartisan group of lawmakers as they announce a proposal for a Covid-19 relief bill on Capitol Hill, on Monday, December 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers from both chambers released a $908 billion package Monday, split into two bills.(Photo by Al Drago for The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 1, 2021 11:48 a.m.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), both of whom are part of the bipartisan group of senators who have worked throughout the weekend to finalize the text of the infrastructure bill, on Sunday expressed confidence that the deal is on its way towards passage by the end of the week.

Appearing on CNN, Collins offered a timeline on the infrastructure negotiations over the weekend. Collins noted that the bipartisan group sent out “a large amount of authorizing, the policy legislation” on Friday night, and that overnight they have worked on completing the spending and appropriations provisions and “marrying them to the bill.”

“We really are just about finished,” Collins said. “But large parts of text have already been shared with Senate offices.”

Asked whether she believe the infrastructure bill will be introduced and passed this week, Collins said that is “certainly my expectation and my hope,” citing the group’s session beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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“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 will finish it — the bill by the end of the week.”

Collins also said she is confident that 10 Republican senators will cross party lines to vote for the infrastructure bill.

“I believe that it will,” Collins said. “This bill is good for America. Every senator can look at bridges and roads and need for more broadband, waterways in their states, seaports airports, and see the benefits, the very concrete benefits, no pun intended, of this legislation. It’s going to make us more competitive, more productive. It’s going to create good jobs.”

Manchin offered a similar take in an interview with CNN following Collins’ appearance.

Pressed on when the infrastructure bill will be ready, Manchin said he expects it to be ready to go later Sunday.

“I think you will see text today,” Manchin said. “And by this evening, hopefully, we can start the process, hopefully start our amendment process by tomorrow. We should finish up by Thursday, I hope.”

After praising Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for keeping senators “engaged” during infrastructure negotiations, Manchin reiterated that “we have got the text done now.”

“Basically, it’s just drafting right now,” Manchin said.

Manchin repeated his expectations for the bipartisan infrastructure bill during an interview on CBS as well, saying that the bill is “99.9% finished.”

Collins’ and Manchin’s remarks come amid infrastructure negotiations that are set to include a rare Sunday session as senators aim to bring a bill to the floor prior to the Senate adjourning for August recess.

Schumer affirmed Collins’ and Manchin’s assessment of where negotiations stand during floor remarks on Sunday.

“I understand it is being finalized imminently,” Schumer said on Sunday. “I will offer it as a substitute amendment, as I’ve always promised. And then the Senate can finally begin voting on additional amendments.”

Schumer reiterated his commitment to a two-track process for passing infrastructure legislation.

“After the bipartisan infrastructure legislation passes the Senate, I will immediately move to the other track passing a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions, which will allow the Senate to make historic investments in American jobs,” Schumer said on Sunday.

On Saturday night, Schumer said that he had been informed that the bipartisan group of senators have been “working hard” during negotiations, but have expressed that they may “need a little more time.”

“I’m prepared to give it to them because, because – as I have been from the beginning – I am fully committed to passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill,” Schumer said.

Schumer previously made clear that he wants voting on the infrastructure deal to happen before senators break for August recess. Schumer’s latest remarks double down on his plan to review the legislative text once it is finalized, and offer it up a a substitute to the shell bill before senators begin voting on amendments.

Last week, 17 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to proceed to debate the bipartisan infrastructure bill, following the bipartisan team’s announcement that they had come to an agreement on the outline of the infrastructure deal.

The deal appears largely unchanged compared to when it was first announced on June 24. The top line price tag of the June agreement included $579 billion in new spending — which has reportedly been reduced from $29 billion to $550 billion.

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