U.S. senators make final tweaks to infrastructure bill, expect passage this week

By David Morgan and David Lawder

FILE PHOTO: Vehicles are parked outside the U.S. Capitol building the morning the Senate returned to session in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Senate on Sunday worked to finalize legislation to forge ahead with a sweeping $1 trillion spending plan for roads, rail lines, high-speed internet and other infrastructure, with some senators predicting final passage later this week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the text was “being finalized imminently,” and the Senate could soon start voting on all relevant amendments, finishing the bill “in a matter of days.”

The massive infrastructure package is one of President Joe Biden’s top legislative priorities and would be the largest investment in U.S. roads, bridges, ports, and transit in decades.

It includes $550 billion in new spending on top of $450 billion in previously approved funds and would provide money to replace lead water pipes and build a network of electric vehicle charging stations.

Senator Jon Tester, a key Democratic negotiator on the legislation, told reporters that one potential holdup is a provision over wages. Democrats want to include a decades-old law that would require contractors to pay prevailing wages – typically higher levels set by unions – on projects funded by the legislation.

Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, told CNN that she believes at least 10 Republicans will support the measure, enabling it to clear a 60-vote procedural hurdle.

“My hope is that we’ll finish the bill by the end of the week,” Collins said, adding that the measure is “good for America.”

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