News Briefs

GOP senators from Kansas take alternate routes on infrastructure bill

By: - July 31, 2021 8:18 am
procedural measure tied to a $1 trillion infrastructure bill negotiated by a bipartisan group. The measure was approved 66-28, allowing for work to proceed on the package. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., didn’t vote on a procedural measure tied to a $1 trillion infrastructure bill negotiated by a bipartisan group. The measure was approved 66-28, allowing for work to proceed on the package. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall was a no-show and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran a flat no on the Senate motion to proceed with consideration of a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

The legislation cleared that hurdle 66-28 with six members declining to register an opinion on the package that was subject of intense off-and-on negotiations. It contains billions of dollars for roads and bridges, electric grid upgrades, Amtrak rail service and broadband expansion. It also would deliver $55 billion for clean drinking water, $46 billion to respond to extreme weather, $39 billion for public transit projects and $15 billion for electric vehicles.

Moran, a Republican, said he didn’t appreciate Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York setting deadlines in an attempt to press ahead with a measure not fully vetted by lawmakers.

“I appreciate the bipartisan effort that is taking place to craft and negotiate an infrastructure bill,” Moran said. “It is important we get infrastructure right, and Leader Schumer shouldn’t set arbitrary deadlines until we have a final product. I do not support moving this bill forward until we have the full legislative text.”

Senators planned to continue work the package through the amendment process. The infrastructure deal has been a priority of President Joe Biden.

Marshall, also a Republican, didn’t participate in the preliminary vote due to “a family health issue,” said Michawn Rich, a spokesman for the senator.

Marshall recently expressed reservations about the Biden administration’s plans for “reckless spending” labeled as infrastructure.

“We need smart, targeted investments,” Marshall said during a U.S. Senate floor speech. “Not radical spending that leaves this country at a disadvantage and kills jobs.”

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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