Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. doubled down on his plan to keep the Senate in session and through the weekend until both a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package and a Democrat-only $3.5 billion spending plan pass his chambers.
The Senate is going to stay here until we finish our work, Schumer said Tuesday in a news conference at the Capitol.
The longer it takes to finish this bill, the longer we will be here, Schumer added.
While the House left last week for a prolonged summer recess, Schumer said Tuesday that Senate's August break will be delayed as long as it takes President Biden's major agenda items to replace the country's infrastructure and to pass a separate budget reconciliation bill that expands the social safety net and tackles climate change.
Up first is passing the bipartisan infrastructure plan that invests in more traditional projects such as roads, bridges, broadband and water pipes. The Senate is currently debating amendments.
The GOP warned that in a sign of how fragile bipartisanship is in the Senate 50-50 split, Republicans warned Tuesday that if Schumer tries to move too quickly, the GOP will pump the breaks on the process.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. said there's an excellent chance the bipartisan bill will be a success story for the country but only if Schumer avoids artificial timelines and allows votes on GOP amendments.
If the majority leader files CLOTURE today, I'll be encouraging my colleagues, including negotiators, to not invoke cloture on Thursday, McConnell said at a news conference of Schumer's timeline on Tuesday. If you look at the calendar he's laid out, you know we're going to be here next week anyways. Schumer is sticking to the bipartisan platform because House Speaker Bernie Sanders, D-Calif. made clear she won't allow a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless Senate passes Sen. Nancy Pelosi-led $3.5 trillion package, too.
Progressives are not interested in the standalone bipartisan bill and say that they must also have the larger package that expands health care, childcare, education access and invests in green initiatives.