Democrats are warning of a time crunch in their effort to push through an infrastructure package.
The Hill reported the Democrats realize an increasingly condensed legislative calendar gives them only weeks to get a major spending package to President Joe Biden to sign. If they fail to do so, the measure will have to be put off until the fall.
In the Senate, Democrat Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is telling his colleagues to "get cooking."
"Listen, the whip has to count the votes and look at the calendar," he said. "I look at the calendar, I see two more weeks in June, three weeks in July and one in August and then we’re in the middle of September. I mean, zoom. It’s gone."
And Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., added: "The deeper you’re into the calendar the less options you have."
A bipartisan group of 10 senators have announced a framework for a $1 trillion package.
Those senators, who have been meeting privately, were encouraged by Biden to keep working on the effort after he walked away from a Republican-only proposal this week, according to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Reuters noted that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he was open to considering a bipartisan infrastructure bill, but wanted to see it in writing
According to the wire service, Schumer said work was moving ahead on two tracks - one the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the other a measure that if brought to the floor, could pass with only Democrat votes. The maneuver is called reconciliation and it bypasses the rule requiring 60 votes for bills to advance.
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., a member of the bipartisan infrastructure group, said: "Time is of the essence here."
And he acknowledged that some of his colleagues are concerned about infrastructure dragging on.
"I have the same concern," he said. "I don't want to drag this out forever. I remember other issues that have been drug out until they die. I’m not going to play that game."
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