Republicans blocked the $60 billion infrastructure bill introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar Thursday by rejecting a motion to proceed in a 51-49 vote, which needed 60 votes to pass.
Klobuchar’s bill was the third tied to President Obama’s jobs plan that has failed in the Senate.
Every Republican voted against the bill, and one Democrat and one Independent joined them. Both Minnesota Democrats, Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken, voted for the bill.
Klobuchar and the Democrats argued that the bill, which would have put $50 billion toward infrastructure projects and $10 b
million for a national infrastructure bank, was needed to create jobs and improve the country’s ailing infrastructure. But Republicans balked at the bill because it was paid for by raising taxes 0.7 percent on those making more than $1 million.
The bill sparked a political debate on the Senate floor before the vote between Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Hill described the floor action:
“Passions flared highest on Thursday morning as it became clear that Obama’s legislation, which Democrats have insisted is bipartisan, would once again fail to attract a single Republican vote.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) quarreled in a back-and-forth, with each accusing the other of engaging in political theater rather than working for Americans.”
Klobuchar kept things positive after the vote. “I believe the infrastructure bank and other provisions of this bill will gain bipartisan support and ultimately pass,” she said in a statement.
A Republican infrastructure alternative also failed in the Senate Thursday on a party-line vote.