What happened: Ten Republican Senators previewed a forthcoming proposal to invest $600 billion to $800 billion on infrastructure. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the top Republican on the Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW), April 15 announced a framework document is under development and would be more limited in scope than President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan. The Republican senators highlighted concerns with the administration’s scope and price tag and raised their own priorities for roads, bridges, ports, and broadband infrastructure.
Why it matters: President Biden has stated his preference for a bipartisan infrastructure package and the move by Republicans is a step toward bipartisan negotiations. At least 10 Senate Republicans must side with all 50 Democrats to move legislation in the chamber.
What’s next: With Republicans and Democrats expressing a desire to see “significant investment” in infrastructure, there could be substantial areas of bipartisan agreement. The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, S. 914, a bill to reauthorize federal clean and drinking water programs, is up for consideration in the Senate the week of April 19. The vote is seen as the first test of the two parties’ sincerity about bipartisanship on infrastructure.