Senators are in a race to lock up a bipartisan infrastructure deal this week, but the framework on how much money should go to public transit is in the way, according to an article from the Associated Press.
As talks lasted through the weekend, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said both sides were “about 90% of the way there” on a deal, according to the article.
“We have one issue outstanding, and we’re not getting much response from the Democrats on it,” Portman said. “It’s about mass transit. Our transit number is very generous.”
Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had mentioned the desire to reach a deal and a $3.5 trillion budget plan before August recess.
“Democrats want to see more of the money in the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure agreement go toward boosting public transportation, which includes subways, light-rail lines and buses, in line with President Joe Biden’s original infrastructure proposal,” the article said. “The bipartisan group originally appeared to be moving toward agreement on more money for transit. But Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, the top Republican on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees public transit, was still negotiating the details. He cited, in part, previous COVID-19 federal relief money that had already been allocated to public transit.”
“We’re down to the last couple of items, and I think you’re going to see a bill Monday afternoon,” said an optimistic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) on Sunday.
As talks begin heating up for the final stretch, it looks as if lawmakers are going all in to get a deal done.