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Senate GOP ready to move forward on $1T infrastructure bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans negotiating a $1 trillion infrastructure bill with Democrats said this morning they have reached agreement on the major outstanding issues and are ready to vote to take up the bill.

Lead negotiator Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, made the announcement at the Capitol, flanked by four other GOP senators that have been in talks with Democrats and the White House on the bipartisan package. A test vote is possible later today.

“We now have an agreement on the major issues,” Portman said. “We are prepared to move forward.”

For days, senators and the White House have been working to salvage the bipartisan deal, a key part of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened the Senate today announcing a possible test vote later in the evening. The Republican senators met this morning with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who appears to have given his nod to proceed to consider the emerging legislation.

Standing outside McConnell’s office to announce the agreement, Portman said McConnell “all along has been encouraging our efforts.”

Today’s test vote would require 60 votes in the evenly split 50-50 Senate to advance a motion to proceed to consideration of the legislation. That would launch a potentially days-long process to consider the bill, and any possible amendments. Senators are bracing for a weekend session to work on the package.

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