Senate Set to Vote on Advancing $1.2T Infrastructure Package Saturday

The sweeping $1.2 trillion infrastructure package is set for a key vote in the U.S. Senate this weekend—less than a week after the text of the nearly 3,000-page bipartisan proposal was unveiled.

The package, championed by President Joe Biden's administration, includes funding for roads, bridges, broadband internet, power grid upgrades and other priorities.

"It's a bill that would end years of gridlock in Washington and create millions of good-paying jobs," Biden told reporters Friday. "It will put America on a new path to win the race for the economy in the 21st century—historic investment in roads and rail and transit and bridges to clean energy and clean water will enable us not only to build back but to build back better than before."

The Senate, which was scheduled to break for the August recess on Friday, will return to the Capitol on Saturday to vote on whether the bill can move forward, setting up a likely vote on the final version of the bill in the coming days in that chamber before the proposal is vetted by the U.S. House.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has said the upper chamber won't recess until the measure passes.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has said the House won't take up the infrastructure bill until the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.

House members are on a 24-hour call-back notice during the August recess.

"We're not going forward with leaving people behind," Pelosi told reporters Friday. "We're gonna do this when we can do it all."

The Senate has spent the past week debating proposed amendments to the infrastructure bill, ultimately approving 12 changes that range from making technical corrections to instituting new federal standards for limousines.

Another change is aimed at beefing up cybersecurity, after several high-profile ransomware attacks and security breaches.

"As we have seen from the damaging SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange attacks, a whole-of-government approach is necessary to protect critical infrastructure," Senator Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, said on the Senate floor. "This amendment will ensure that there is a comprehensive approach that effectively coordinates our cybersecurity protections for critical infrastructure across all sectors, reduces duplication of efforts, and helps protect our nation from the persistent threat posed by cyberattacks."

The Senate also rejected 10 proposed amendments, most of them from Republicans.

One would have blocked money in the infrastructure package from going to any entity that doesn't use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system to check employee eligibility.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the $1.2 trillion package, which includes $550 billion in new spending, would add $256 billion to projected deficits over the next decade.

Senate set to vote on infrastructure Saturday
President Joe Biden's plan for a $1.2 trillion investment in U.S. infrastructure will face a key step in the Senate Saturday determining if it comes to the floor for a final vote, before heading to the House of Representatives. Traffic moves through a detour near a construction site Friday in Washington, D.C. Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images