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House to bring up infrastructure bill this week

POLITICO logo POLITICO 6 days ago By Sam Mintz
Steny Hoyer wearing a suit and tie: 400428_Hoyer_Gty_773.jpg © Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images 400428_Hoyer_Gty_773.jpg

The House is lining up a vote this week on its $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill aiming to get the legislation across the finish line by packaging amendments together as much as possible as the pandemic forces changes to Congress' voting patterns.

Majority leader Steny Hoyer said Friday that he had talked to Republican leaders about putting amendments in manager's packages or in en bloc tranches to avoid voting on individual amendments one at a time, as the socially distanced voting process currently takes around an hour per vote. "There may be a lot of amendments, but we hope to hold the votes down to a manageable level," Hoyer said. Nearly 350 amendments have already been submitted to the House Rules Committee, but many of them will not be allowed to be offered.

Why it matters: Democrats have been accused of carrying out a particularly "partisan" process for the surface transportation bill, which is serving as the vehicle for what will ultimately be a much more expansive bill that includes housing, water, energy, broadband and other issues. An abridged amendment process could give Republicans even more of a chance to pound Democrats for the process, which in turn could threaten eventual negotiations with the Senate.

What's next: The Rules Committee will meet Monday to further solidify the process and determine which amendments will be allowed to be brought to the floor. Hoyer did not stipulate which day he expects the bill to come to the floor, but the earliest likely opportunity will be Tuesday.

Related: The House Transportation Committee has posted the report on the surface transportation piece of the bill.

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