Infrastructure Reconciliation Tomorrow?

Tomorrow Chuck Schumer is going to meet with Democratic members of the Senate budget committee to begin the process of going forward with the infrastructure bill via reconciliation, says The Hill.

He’s also going to submit a pared-down infrastructure bill via regular order in July.

That bill would need 60 votes to pass outside the reconciliation process. But it’s running into opposition from Senate progressives such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who say they won’t vote for a bipartisan infrastructure bill unless all 50 members of the Democratic caucus agree on the size and shape of the later reconciliation bill, which needs unanimous Democratic support to pass the 50-50 Senate.

“Both are moving forward, the bipartisan track and the track on reconciliation, and both we hope to get done in July, both the budget resolution and the bipartisan bill,” Schumer said.

This pared-down deal is the one worked out between five Republicans — Portman, Romney, Murkowski, Collins, and Cassidy — and five Democrats — Sinema, Manchin, Warner, Shaheen, and Tester.  The New York Times:

The framework is expected to include about $579 billion in new spending as part of an overall package that would cost about $974 billion over five years and about $1.2 trillion over eight years, according to two people familiar with the details, who disclosed them on the condition of anonymity. The outline is expected to address a narrower range of physical infrastructure projects and to avoid the Democratic push for tax increases; but it is also likely to suggest indexing the gas tax to inflation as one of the mechanisms for paying for the plan.

Basically, it’s a tiny fraction of new spending needed, there are no tax increases (except on gas, which would be a burden to poor working folks), and the climate change requirements are all taken out. A whole lot of Democrats have already said they won’t support it. But putting forward the weaker bill appears to be part of the process of winning Joe Manchin’s vote to pass the stronger bill.

Well, good luck to us.