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NEWSMAX: The U.S. Senate voted to advance a $1 trillion infrastructure package Saturday but remained on a slow path toward passage with two Republicans openly opposing behind-the-scenes efforts to wrap up work on one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities.
In a 67-27 vote demonstrating broad support, senators agreed to limit debate on the legislation, which represents the biggest investment in decades in America’s roads, bridges, airports, and waterways.
Eighteen of the Senate’s 50 Republicans voted to move forward on the legislation, with Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Deb Fischer, R-Neb., backing the package for the first time.
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Lawmakers were working behind closed doors to reach an agreement on amendments that could allow the Senate to complete its work on the legislation as early as Saturday night.
Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., took to the Senate floor to underscore his opposition to expediting the process, saying the legislation would add to the national debt and set the stage for Democrats to move forward with a separate $3.5 trillion spending package to which Republicans are vehemently opposed.
“There’s absolutely no reason for rushing this process,” Hagerty, a freshman senator who was former President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Japan, said in a floor speech.
“While I believe in hard infrastructure, I cannot participate in doing it this way,” he added.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said she believed the bill “needs a thorough amendment process.”
The Republican rhetoric appeared to set the stage for a marathon session, after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., vowed to keep the Senate open until lawmakers vote on whether to adopt the bill.
“We can get this done the easy way or the hard way. In either case, the Senate will stay in session until we finish our work,” Schumer said in a floor speech before the vote. “It’s up to my Republican colleagues how long it takes.” Continue reading on Newsmax.