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Senators race to approve bipartisan infrastructure deal

Senators negotiating a $579B infrastructure package are aiming to finish negotiations early this week. Yahoo Finance’s Jessica Smith shares the details.

Video Transcript


ZACK GUZMAN: Well, the back and forth on that compromise between Republicans and Democrats on the infrastructure bill is still ongoing and time is running out as we are approaching a five week-recess beginning August 9th and there's more pressure now to get something done ahead of that. For more on where we sit in those talks, I want to bring on Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith, who has the latest on the hopes to get that done, Jess?

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Zack, we are still waiting on that final bipartisan deal. Negotiators were working over the weekend but we still have not seen this text, and Republicans were reportedly discouraged by the latest offers from Democrats and the White House. Now, Senator Mark Warner, one of the negotiators, did say yesterday in the Sunday shows that he thought there would be a deal at some point this afternoon, we might be able to see this complete deal but it looks like there are still issues outstanding. So it's not clear if that's going to happen.

Senator Rob Portman, a Republican who is also involved in these negotiations, said in an interview yesterday that they were about 90% there. This group though, has been working on this for quite some time and I think Democrats are starting to get a little antsy as these talks just drag on, and you could see more calls for them to go it alone and do it all via reconciliation. They are also still working on that bill, that multi-trillion spending bill that they're planning to pass with just Democratic votes. And Speaker Pelosi did say again over the weekend that the House is not going to take up a bipartisan bill until the Senate passes the reconciliation bill. So things could still be a long ways off.

And we still again, don't even know if this bipartisan deal is going to come to fruition, and if it's going to make it through the Senate. So today we'll be waiting for any update from that group to see if we can get this text done. We know that Majority Leader Schumer has said he wants to get both of these things, the bipartisan deal, and the budget resolution, done before that August recess. So time is really running out if they're operating on that timeline.

KRISTIN MYERS: You know, Jess, I think so many people hear infrastructure, they hear budget, they almost think they're one and the same. They are, however, as you were just highlighting, two separate packages. Could you just briefly explain how they are somewhat tied together and how what happens on budget could end up delaying what is happening in infrastructure?

JESSICA SMITH: Well, I think what we're seeing with Speaker Pelosi saying she does not want to take up the bipartisan deal unless the Senate has already passed reconciliation because the reconciliation bill, the budget resolution, which lays the groundwork for the broader package-- not to get too in the weeds there-- but the reconciliation package has other items in President Biden's agenda that could not get Republican support, things like universal pre-K, free community college, potentially tax hikes on the wealthy and on businesses.

While infrastructure the bipartisan deal would be roads, highways, bridges, broadband. But they are tied together because Speaker Pelosi isn't going to take up that bipartisan deal without the other, trying to keep progressives happy, who say the bipartisan deal alone is not enough. So they're trying to balance that out to keep both the moderates and the progressives happy and pass this with only Democratic support.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, chief political correspondent, Jessica Smith. Thank you so much for all of those updates. We'll definitely keep watching to see some movement on those packages.