WASHINGTON (WDVM) — On Capitol Review, Capitol Hill Correspondent Kellie Meyer breaks down the next part of the infrastructure agenda that the Senate is working on, the divide on the package between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, and if the House starting the session earlier in August indicates that the deal will pass sooner.
Watch the full conversation in the video above.
Transcript between host Tasmin Mahfuz and Capitol Hill Correspondent Kellie Meyer:
Q: What’s the next part of the infrastructure agenda that the Senate is working on?
KM: So the next part of the infrastructure agenda is the quote human infrastructure part of the plan. Focusing on the personal infrastructure- things universal pre-K, free two-year community college, and funding for clean energy initiatives. Right now the proposal stands at 3 point 5 trillion dollars. But lawmakers need to return to work on exactly what will make it in the final package. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promises that all of President Joe Biden’s agenda will make it into the package.
Q: It seems like liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans aren’t entirely happy with this package – something is either missing or it’s too much. What are you hearing?
KM: So not one Republican senator supports this second part of the infrastructure agenda. They feel it will add to rising inflation and the country’s debt. So don’t expect support on that side of the aisle. For Democrats – progressive Democrats really want to go big and bold. But for some more moderate Democrats – they’ve already said the 3 point 5 price tag, is too high. So they really have to come together on a final number because with the process the senate is using they will need to keep all Democrats on board to get this passed.
Q: So now, the deal goes to the House and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is already on it. He’s cutting the recess short and representatives are all expected back on August 23rd. Is coming back earlier going to increase the odds of the deal passing sooner? Or is there more to this than we know?
KM: That’s a good question – it does mean they will tackle this sooner than expect the house wasn’t expected to return until mid September but there is still a lot of work ahead both for the house and senate. Like I mentioned not only senate democrats but house democrats have to get inline on a proposal and stay united on this to get the presidents agenda passed and that may take some time. But Senator Schumer wants to get the ball rolling on this as soon as the senate returns September 13th.