U.S. Senate Holds Rare Saturday Session On $550B Infrastructure Spending Plan

What happened: The U.S. Senate is holding a rare Saturday session today as negotiators attempt to finalize the text on $550 billion in new spending, part of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Bipartisan negotiators are discussing the details of additional funding for the nation’s roads, bridges, and airports.

This comes after weeks of negotiations leading to the bill package being formally put up for debate on Friday. The next step involves finalizing the text of the bills which will be followed by a debate on amendments. A final vote on the legislation is expected to occur late next week.

Why it’s important: The package of bills includes $110 billion in new funding for roads and bridges, $73 billion for upgrades to the electric grid, $66 billion for rail and Amtrak, along with $65 billion to expand broadband internet access.

The legislation outlines steps to offset the cost of the proposals by selling up to $6 billion of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increasing customs user fees and instituting additional requirements on cryptocurrency transactions.

What’s next: After the anticipated passage of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer plans to push forward on a sweeping $3.5 trillion package that focuses on climate change and home care for the elderly and children. The plan is expected to face staunch Republican opposition.

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