Donald Trump and his Republican congressional allies have set their sights on a $1 trillion package of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other major infrastructure projects, including a $3.8 trillion road and highway bill that’s likely to pass.
The GOP lawmakers want to get it done before the November election, but Democrats are threatening to derail it by using a procedural maneuver that would allow Republicans to keep the measure on the floor and potentially block it if it’s not.
That’s because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is working on a plan that could allow Republicans with a narrow 51-49 majority to keep on voting to advance the legislation, and Democrats have vowed to oppose it.
The bill would be one of the biggest in recent history and would add nearly $2 trillion to the national debt, while boosting infrastructure spending by $3 trillion over the next decade.
The measure would also add nearly 2 million jobs and spur economic growth by $7 trillion over 10 years.
It is expected to pass the Senate in early November, but McConnell has said he will only bring it to the floor if Republicans are able to pass it with the support of 51 votes.
The House is set to begin debate on the legislation in early January, but Republicans are pushing back against that vote, arguing it will hurt their party’s chances in the midterms.
They are also planning to introduce amendments that could keep the tax cut package from moving forward if Democrats are able at all.
The plan is a major priority for Trump, who is looking to win back control of the House and is determined to get his agenda on track with the public.
Trump is already pushing to increase spending on infrastructure, saying he wants to spend more on roads and bridges and spend more money on education.
But Republicans are worried about a new amendment they want to put on the House floor, and they are threatening that the measure could be killed if it doesn’t get 50 votes.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R, Texas) told reporters Thursday that he plans to introduce an amendment that would block the measure from moving ahead unless it passes the House.
“If we can’t pass the House, then I’m prepared to pass that amendment,” Cornyn said.
Republicans are also trying to block the highway bill from going forward, but the measure has been pushed through in the Senate by Democrats who say it’s too big and too expensive for the country.
The legislation would also give $3 billion to the Federal Transit Administration to fund the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
It would also include $1.6 trillion in spending on job training, including $1 billion for the National Guard.
The highway bill is expected be a key item in Trump’s second-term agenda, but it’s also one that the president has been pushing since taking office.
The president has made it a cornerstone of his tax reform agenda, saying the bill is crucial to spur economic development and increase jobs.
“I think this bill is absolutely critical for America’s economic growth and our economic growth in the long run,” Trump said during a speech to a pro-business group earlier this month.
“When I’m president, we’re going to get this bill passed and I want to make sure that the infrastructure, our roads and our bridges, that the money that’s going to go into this bill and the money in this bill goes into the infrastructure.”
But the Senate GOP is set for a difficult battle.
If it passes, the House could easily pass the bill by passing the bill with just 51 votes, and if it fails, Republicans could then use a procedural move to delay the bill.
The Republican Senate has been the most divided party in recent memory, with Republicans having a hard time passing major legislation in the last two years.
Trump’s party has struggled in the midterm elections, with a majority of voters saying they were either not bothered or did not care about the economy and the debt.
In the House meanwhile, Republicans are set to pass a major tax cut bill with the help of a majority in the House but a majority opposed in the Republican-controlled Senate.