At the end of the four-day negotiating marathon, even Republican politicians were annoyed by the procedural tricks with which their party colleague Bill Hagerty had delayed passage of the bill to extend roads, bridges and railroads. in the US Senate until Sunday evening. evening. At least in the end, Hagerty had to admit defeat: 68 of 100 senators, including 18 Republicans, voted to end official debate on one of the biggest infrastructure packages in US history and to call for an early vote. This should take place late Monday evening or Tuesday morning, a majority for the law being deemed likely.
With the package, which has a total volume of one trillion dollars (850 billion euros), President Joe Biden wants to modernize the partially diseased infrastructure of the country, expand railways, waterways and internet lines, and establish a national network of electric car charging stations. . The goal is to slow climate change, better protect the United States from internal and external cyber attacks, and put the country back on the offensive in the competition with China for the position of the world’s leading economic power. Passage of the law, which calls for new spending of $ 550 billion and the reallocation of previously approved funds of another $ 450 billion, would be a great political success for Biden.
The question of whether this will happen remains open even after the adoption of the bipartisan initiative by the Senate, as it is then important to convince the House of Representatives. Biden’s Democrats have a narrow majority here, but several MPs are hesitant because some points in the Senate bill do not go far enough or too far for them. Some parliamentarians also consider their own infrastructure law, already passed, worth around $ 715 billion, to be better suited to address the many loopholes.
Vice President Harris could give majority to family and welfare reform package
And then there is another problem that hangs over the entire legislative process: Democrats are planning a second reform package worth almost unimaginably $ 3.5 trillion, with which they support families, introduce some sort of parental leave, limit rental costs and the Want to massively reduce the country’s CO₂ emissions. Since a single Republican senator is unlikely to approve this move, and Democrats in the Senate have no chance of getting the 60 votes they need, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer uses a trick: He wants to use a procedure special budget to remove the law on parliamentary obstacles, which a majority only requires by 51 votes. This is exactly the same as the number of Democratic Senate members, if you count Vice President Kamala Harris’ decisive vote in a vote.
Republicans, on the other hand, accuse Democrats of deception. Senator Hagerty, for example, a follower of former President Donald Trump, explicitly justified her opposition to the infrastructure package by claiming that Schumer had linked the two projects and outsourced the parts that were not able to hold a majority in a law of finances. Many Republicans, as well as two Democratic senators, are also embarrassed by the immense costs of the family, social and environmental package, which would in fact continue to drive up the US national debt. Hagerty spoke of a “socialist debt bomb”.
Schumer stuck to his plans over the weekend and also defended the extremely difficult legislative process. “It took a while, but it was worth it because we can now hopefully pass both laws very, very soon,” the New York state senator said.
If Democrats are truly successful in pushing both plans through Congress, businesses and consumers in the United States, including the latest Corona aid plan that has already passed, can look forward to $ 6 trillion. economic stimulus. It’s a really powerful boost, even for a huge economy like America. Many Republicans, but also some economists close to Democrats, already attribute the massive increase in government spending to the significantly higher inflation rate in the United States.