The 76-year-old, who has pleaded 'not guilty' to 34 felony counts in a New York court, has also claimed that the Democrats spied on his campaign.
Senate Republicans negotiating a $1 trillion infrastructure bill with Democrats said Wednesday they have reached an agreement on the major outstanding issues and are ready to vote to take up the bill.
Lead negotiator Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, made the announcement at the Capitol, flanked by four other GOP senators that have been in talks with Democrats and the White House on the bipartisan package. A test vote is possible later Wednesday.
“We now have an agreement on the major issues,” Portman said. “We are prepared to move forward.”
For days, senators and the White House have been working to salvage the bipartisan deal, a key part of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened the Senate Wednesday announcing a possible test vote later in the evening. The Republican senators met Wednesday morning with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who appears to have given his nod to proceed to consider the emerging legislation.
Wednesday’s test vote would require 60 votes in the evenly split 50-50 Senate to advance a motion to proceed to consideration of the legislation. That would launch a potentially days-long process to consider the bill, and any possible amendments. Senators are bracing for a weekend session to work on the package.
Several issues have held up the nearly $1 trillion package. Spending on public transit remains in question and a new dispute flared over the regulation of broadband access. Still, all sides — the White House, Republicans, and Democrats — sounded upbeat that an accord was within reach.
The outcome will set the stage for the next debate over Biden’s much more ambitious $3.5 trillion spending package, a strictly partisan pursuit of far-reaching programs and services including child care, tax breaks, and health care that touch almost every corner of American life, and that Republicans vowed Tuesday to oppose.
Democrats, who have slim control of the House and Senate, face a timeline to act on what would be some of the most substantial pieces of legislation in years.
Democrats were insisting on a prevailing-wage requirement, not just for existing public works programs but also for building new roads, bridges, broadband and other infrastructure, but it’s not clear that will make the final package.
The senators had been debating money for public waterworks projects and removal of lead pipes after Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, raised questions about the amount. He said Tuesday the issue had been settled.
(With AP inputs)