On The Money: Bipartisan infrastructure group says it’s still on track after Senate setback | House Democrats want input on bipartisan plan | McConnell warns GOP won’t vote to raise debt ceiling
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THE BIG DEAL—Bipartisan group says it’s still on track after setback on Senate floor:
A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday afternoon issued a joint statement declaring they’re still on track for completing work on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, even after the Senate voted earlier in the day to reject a motion to begin debate on the measure.
“We have made significant progress and are close to a final agreement. We will continue working hard to ensure we get this critical legislation right — and are optimistic that we will finalize, and be prepared to advance, this historic bipartisan proposal to strengthen America’s infrastructure and create good-paying jobs in the coming days,” the group of 10 Republicans, 11 Democrats and one independent who caucuses with Democrats said in a statement.
“We appreciate our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the administration, working with us to get this done for the American people,” they wrote.
How we got here:
What comes next: Eleven Republicans — including the 10 who issued the joint statement Wednesday afternoon — have sent a letter to Schumer pledging they will vote to proceed to the infrastructure debate next week. That means Schumer would get the 60 votes he needs to proceed to infrastructure legislation, something he failed to do Wednesday afternoon.
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton brings us up to speed here.
Democrats warn leadership against excluding House from infrastructure talks: Of course, there’s another chamber for the bipartisan infrastructure bill to get through, and some House Democrats made clear they won’t just roll over.
“Many of these critical reforms are not included or have not been fully addressed through the Senate bipartisan infrastructure process. We should reject any effort to categorically exclude the thorough, transparent, and transformational process undertaken by the House,” they wrote.
The Hill’s Cristina Marcos tells us what the House Democrats want here.
LEADING THE DAY
McConnell warns GOP won’t vote to raise debt ceiling: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate unanimously passes bill to strengthen crime victims fund Schumer feels pressure from all sides on spending strategy GOP centrists call on Schumer to delay infrastructure vote MORE (R-Ky.) is warning that Republicans won’t help raise the debt ceiling and is Democrats to include the spending hike in an infrastructure bill that they can pass along party lines.
“I can’t imagine there will be a single Republican voting to raise the debt ceiling after what we’ve been experiencing,” McConnell told Punchbowl News.
McConnell — whose office confirmed his remarks to The Hill — added that Democrats should include the hike in reconciliation, the process they are using to pass a $3.5 trillion spending package by a simple majority in the Senate.
- Under a 2019 deal during the Trump administration, Congress agreed to let the government borrow through July 31.
- To raise the debt ceiling outside of reconciliation, Democrats would need 10 GOP votes in addition to all 50 members of their own caucus. But top Republicans have been sending warning signs for months that they won’t agree to a “clean” increase of the debt limit.
Jordain Carney has more here.
CBO: Key debt limit date likely in October or November: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Wednesday forecasted that the Treasury Department would most likely run out of cash in October or November absent congressional action on the debt limit.
The CBO estimated in a report that “unless the debt limit is increased, the Treasury, after using all available extraordinary measures, will probably be unable to make its usual payments starting sometime in the first quarter of the new fiscal year, most likely in October or November, although an earlier or later date is possible.”
“After that point, the debt limit would cause delays of payments for government activities, a default on the government’s debt obligations, or both.”
GOOD TO KNOW
- Mark Zandi, the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, released a new report on Wednesday that endorsed the bipartisan infrastructure deal and reconciliation package being negotiated on Capitol Hill, concluding that the initiatives would benefit the economy.
- Roughly $3 billion of the $46 billion allocated for emergency rental aid has been used to cover rent, utilities and other related expenses with less than two weeks until a federal eviction ban expires.
- The federal government has forgiven about $400 billion in pandemic relief loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to a group of internal watchdogs.
- Small businesses are scrambling to hire enough workers to meet surging demand.
ODDS AND ENDS
- A Massachusetts couple is suing Internet company eBay alleging harassment and abuse from former employees, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
- The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved multiple pieces of legislation meant to strengthen telecommunications against cyberattacks.