Infrastructure: Democrats Reach Deal for $3.5 Trillion Price Tag on Partisan Bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talks to reporters following the Senate Democrats weekly policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., July 13, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Democrats in the Senate Budget Committee announced an agreement on Tuesday evening on a $3.5 trillion price tag for a resolution intended to be passed via budget reconciliation rules.

“The Budget Committee has come to an agreement. The budget resolution with instructions will be $3.5 trillion,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) told reporters. “Add that to the $600 billion in the bipartisan plan, you get to $4.1 trillion, which is very, very close to what President Biden asked us for.”

The budget resolution will include spending on climate change programs, health care, and child care services sought by the Biden administration that are not included in a proposed bipartisan infrastructure deal. The full text of the resolution has not yet been released.

While Democratic and some Republican senators are working toward a bipartisan compromise on infrastructure legislation, Democrats are attempting to enact the other programs without GOP support. Democrats will need to enact those programs via budget reconciliation rules, which allow certain pieces of legislation to pass the Senate with a simple majority instead of a filibuster-proof 60 vote majority.

Republicans and Democrats are currently tied 50-50 in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.

President Biden said in June that he would not pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless the separate, Democrat-backed budget resolution was also passed.

“If only one comes to me, this is the only one that comes to me, I’m not signing it. It’s in tandem,” Biden said. The president walked back the veto threat shortly afterwards, however negotiations over the two proposals have proceeded.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long added to this report.