WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Senators took another step this week toward passing a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, but the deal still has a long road ahead.
Despite the hurdles that still stand in the way, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, is confident the infrastructure package he helped negotiate will pass in the Senate in the coming days.
“I think it will get done. I think it was a big deal,” Sen. Romney said Thursday.
Romney said senators want to pay for the plan with the help of unused COVID relief dollars and unused unemployment insurance benefits. The money would be put toward investments in things like roads, bridges and broadband, along with upgrading airports and schools.
Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia pushed to get making public schools more energy efficient in the bipartisan package.
“So that every child in Georgia can go to a new and safe and healthy and high-tech public school,” Ossoff explained.
While he’s confident, Romney acknowledged there could be hurdles to final passage – pointing to an uncertain future over in the House.
“If they change it too much…it would be very hard to get Republicans to vote for it in the Senate,” Romney said.
Romney said President Joe Biden will need to step in to ensure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi keeps House Democrats in line. Some progressives in the House wanted a much larger bill.
Pelosi said she’ll only move forward on infrastructure if the Senate also passes the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill. That’s something that Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia believes should be kept separate.
“To hook one or link one or quid pro quo is the wrong way to approach any bill,” Sen. Manchin said Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to pass both bills before they leave for August recess, which is currently scheduled to start at the end next week.