Often elusive, the political center is holding steady in the Senate as a coalition of Democratic and Republican senators brushes off critics to push the $1 trillion infrastructure package toward final passage.
On the left, the Democrats have withstood the complaints of liberals who say the proposal falls short of what’s needed to provide a down payment on one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities.
From the right, the Republicans are largely ignoring the criticism from their most conservative and far-flung voices, including a barrage of name-calling from former President Donald Trump as he tries to derail the package.
All told, some 70 senators appear poised to carry the bipartisan infrastructure bill to passage, a potentially robust tally of lawmakers eager to tap the billions in new spending it will unleash for public works projects back home.
“This is something that brings this country together,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a lead negotiator. “We need the investment, let’s be honest.”
Senators hoisted the package over another hurdle late Sunday, easily clearing a remaining 60-vote threshold on a vote of 68-29, despite a few holdouts trying to run out the clock on debate and drag final passage to Tuesday. The measure would then go to the House.