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Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is seen discussing the infrastructure bill with reporters on Thursday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) filed cloture on the Senate's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday night, setting it up for a final vote in his chamber as early as Saturday.

Why it matters: The bill's expected passage will be a major victory for Congress and the Biden administration, especially given the current level of polarization in Congress.

Between the lines: Senate leaders in both parties have been discussing ways to accelerate the remainder of floor debate over the bipartisan bill.

  • Their goal is to vote on the proposal as soon as possible so they can move onto consideration of the $3.5 trillion budget resolution and salvage as much of their August recess as possible.
  • Republicans had been waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to score the package before voting. The CBO released their score Thursday afternoon, making a final vote possible as early as Thursday night. However, Schumer told reporters after filing cloture, "We aren't there yet."
  • Many senators will be out of town Friday to attend the funeral for former Sen. Mike Enzi's (R-Wyo.), pushing the likely vote to Saturday.

Behind the scenes: While everyone can declare a win once the bipartisan package passes, there's a ton of frustration that's built up in the process.

  • It's not just about the substance of the bill; it's about the process used to draft it.
  • Committee chairs are furious at being left out of the bipartisan negotiations staged by the G10 — later expanded to the G22.
  • They blame the breakaway lawmakers for fueling a breakdown in regular order, which dragged out the talks, multiple lawmakers and their aides tell Axios.

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First look: Progressives plan rally to keep paid family leave in plan

Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

Progressive groups will rally Thursday on the Ellipse to press President Biden and Congress to keep paid family medical leave in the social spending package that ultimately gets a vote, Axios has learned.

The big picture: Look for these and other advocates to step up their public engagement to keep their cherished programs from being axed, as congressional negotiators trim the size of Democrats' budget reconciliation package to roughly $2 trillion, from a $3.5 trillion starting point.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.