Senate Democrats Consider $6 Trillion Infrastructure Package

In contrast to the $1.2 trillion Senate bipartisan infrastructure proposal, Senate Democrats are discussing a massive package that is more of a budget resolution than an infrastructure bill, designed to pass with 51 votes on reconciliation.

June 21, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

Capitol Hill

Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock

[Correspondent's note: This post also includes an update on the Senate's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal which gained support as more details emerged.]

"A massive filibuster-proof budget reconciliation package worth as much as $6 trillion over a decade — of which half could be deficit-financed — is taking shape within the Senate Democratic caucus, according to a source familiar with the discussions," report Paul M. KrawzakNiels Lesniewski, and Jessica Wehrman for Roll Call on June 17 (source article). "The $6 trillion total Senate Democrats are floating overshoots President Joe Biden's infrastructure and other plans by about $2 trillion."

Emily Cochrane of The New York Times reports on June 17 that details for both the bipartisan and Democratic plans "remain in flux" and that they are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

For now, the divergent efforts are proceeding in parallel, with centrist senators in both parties pushing forward on their compromise proposal and Democrats preparing to use the fast-track budget process known as reconciliation to avoid a Republican filibuster of their far larger plan.

“The truth is both tracks are moving forward very well, and both tracks need each other,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader.

As it stands now, 11 Republican Senators support the more modest bipartisan plan. Sixty votes are needed to end a filibuster. With a Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, surprises could happen if Senators place the country's infrastructure needs above party differences.

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