Schumer wants Senate votes soon on Biden’s domestic agenda

Jul 9, 2021, 8:27 AM | Updated: 10:37 am
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, T...

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 24, 2021. A bipartisan group of lawmakers have negotiated a plan to pay for an estimated $1 trillion compromise plan. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday he wants his chamber to vote on pivotal budget and infrastructure legislation before lawmakers break for their August recess, and warned he may delay that summer break to allow more time for work on President Joe Biden’s top domestic goals.

In a letter to his colleagues, Schumer, D-N.Y., also said Democrats “stand ready to expeditiously fill any potential vacancies on the Supreme Court should they arise,” a clear reference to the possibility that liberal-leaning Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, might retire. He also wrote that the Senate might vote again on Democratic legislation liberalizing voting procedures, which Republicans blocked last month.

Schumer’s plans underscore the priority his party is giving to Biden’s push to pump trillions of dollars into building roads, pipelines and other infrastructure projects, as well as bolstering health care, services for families, programs combating climate change and other initiatives.

The letter highlights the time pressure Democrats face as they try to enact those bills. Republicans are expected to vote solidly against most of Biden’s domestic legislation, and Democrats will need virtual unanimity to push the measures through the closely divided Congress. Gaining that unity will take time and will only get harder as the 2022 election campaigns approach.

“Please be advised that time is of the essence and we have a lot of work to do,” Schumer wrote. “Senators should be prepared for the possibility of working long nights, weekends, and remaining in Washington into the previously-scheduled August state work period.”

The first hurdle for Schumer and the Democrats is for Congress to approve a budget resolution. The budget would then let them push a massive spending bill through the Senate without facing a GOP filibuster.

That spending bill — a pillar of Biden’s domestic agenda — would finance health care, family, climate and other programs. It would be partly paid for with tax boosts on the wealthy and corporations, as well as expected savings from allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

Republicans are expected to solidly oppose Biden’s domestic spending spending bill. It would take 60 votes to end GOP delaying tactics — a virtually impossible hurdle for Democrats in the 50-50 chamber. That’s why Democrats first need to approve a budget resolution.

Separately, Biden and 21 senators from both parties have also agreed to a framework for yet another measure, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package. Schumer hopes the Senate will approve that bill before departing for recess.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said her chamber won’t consider the bipartisan infrastructure measure until Democrats have written their separate bill for family, climate and other programs.

As if the budget, infrastructure and domestic agenda weren’t enough, a potential Supreme Court vacancy could also be in the mix. Liberals have been eager for Breyer to retire so Biden and the Democrat-controlled Senate could select a replacement for a court that tilts 6-3 toward the right. Congressional Democrats have been reluctant to pressure Breyer overtly to step down, and he has given no indication that he will leave.

The Senate is currently scheduled to begin a summer recess after the week of Monday Aug. 2. Threats by congressional leaders to curtail recesses are common, but Schumer’s illustrates the pressures his party faces.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

5 still critical after car drove through fundraiser crowd

BERWICK, Pa. (AP) — State police say five people remain in critical condition after a car drove through a crowd at a weekend fundraiser for victims of a fatal northeastern Pennsylvania fire earlier this month, killing one woman and injuring 17 other people. Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, is charged with homicide in the death […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

London’s Heathrow Airport extends passenger cap to October

LONDON (AP) — London’s Heathrow Airport said Monday it will extend its cap on daily passenger numbers until the end of October as part of its efforts to cope with soaring demand for air travel amid staffing shortages. The airport, one of Europe’s busiest, said a maximum of 100,000 travelers can depart each day until […]
11 hours ago
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin smiles during the press conference with Minister of Defence ...
Associated Press

Defense secretary Austin positive for COVID for second time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19, is experiencing mild symptoms and will quarantine at home. It’s the second time Austin has gotten the coronavirus. In a statement, Austin, 69, said his is fully vaccinated and has received two boosters. He said he’ll quarantine for the next […]
11 hours ago
People cheer at a watch party in Overland Park, Kansas, after learning that voters rejected a state...
Associated Press

Kansas hasn’t started hand count of vote for abortion rights

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas hasn’t started a statewide hand recount of this month’s decisive vote in favor of abortion rights because the abortion opponents seeking it haven’t shown that they can cover the costs of an effort that wouldn’t change the outcome. The state’s elections director gave a western Kansas woman until 5 p.m. […]
11 hours ago
This combo of images provided by the Kent County, Mich., Jail. shows Barry Croft Jr., left, and Ada...
Associated Press

Jury hears from key informant in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot

A man charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was ecstatic and exclaimed, “That’s it!” as he rode past her vacation home in 2020 and told an ally to make a video, according to trial evidence presented Monday. Jurors heard from Dan Chappel, who was known as “Big Dan” to Adam Fox and […]
11 hours ago
Florida Power and Light unveils its new fixed-wing drone designed to fly into tropical storm force ...
Associated Press

Florida utility’s new drone can speed hurricane recovery

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s primary energy provider is ready to launch a powerful new technology, just ahead of the busiest weeks of the Atlantic hurricane season: a new fixed-wing drone designed fly into tropical storm force winds and speed the restoration of electricity after severe weather. FPLAir One resembles a small plane […]
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Schumer wants Senate votes soon on Biden’s domestic agenda