Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told his Democratic caucus in a letter Friday that the chamber may work through August to pass two infrastructure plans — a bipartisan bill and another piece of legislation that only has the support of his party.
Schumer said senators are working with the White House to turn the $1.2 trillion infrastructure framework into legislation.
The Senate Budget Committee is also crafting a measure that would allow Democrats to pass a sprawling child-care, health-care, and climate policy plan without a GOP vote through the reconciliation process.
The bill would need to satisfy progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, who wants a large package and moderates like Joe Manchin, who is calling for it to be done without deficit spending.
“My intention for this work period is for the Senate to consider both the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions, which is the first step for passing legislation through the reconciliation process,” Schumer wrote ahead of the chamber’s return to Washington next week.
“Please be advised that time is of the essence and we have a lot of work to do. Senators should be prepared for the possibility of working long nights, weekends, and remaining in Washington into the previously-scheduled August state work period,” he continued.
Schumer also said Democrats would use the session to confirm more judges nominated to the bench by President Biden.
“Alongside these crucial legislative priorities, the Senate will continue to confirm more of President Biden’s highly qualified judicial nominees. Thanks to Senate Democrats, President Biden has seen more total circuit and district court nominees confirmed before July 4th of his first year than any other recent president. We will continue this critical work in the months to come. As always, Senate Democrats stand ready to expeditiously fill any potential vacancies on the Supreme Court should they arise.”
The Senate is scheduled to leave Washington from Aug. 9 to Sept. 10.