With Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) refusing to bend, GOP senators indicated that they plan to oppose a vote to begin debate on the deal they helped craft. In a closed-door lunch Tuesday afternoon, Senate Republicans came to a consensus that they could not support advancing a package that had yet to be finalized, although negotiators have insisted for days that they are close to putting the finishing touches on the agreement, according an attendee.
“There’s absolutely no reason why [Schumer] has to have the vote” Wednesday, said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). “It does not advance the ball. It does not achieve any goal except to alienate people.”
The new rift emerged less than 24 hours before the chamber was set to take that critical procedural step toward considering a still-forming, roughly $1 trillion agreement to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections. Despite months of work, lawmakers remain torn on how to spend the money — and how, exactly, to pay for that spending — prompting some Republicans to say they need more time.