Political

Bipartisan infrastructure deal reached: Negotiators

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(WASHINGTON) — Negotiators say they have a deal on bipartisan infrastructure.

A redo of last week’s failed test vote is expected Wednesday evening. Republican negotiators, all of whom blocked the procedural motion last week, said they’re ready to vote tonight, though a Democratic leadership aide said a time has not yet been set for the vote.

Negotiators also said they expect enough Republicans to support beginning debate.

Democrats called a special lunch to talk about the proposal behind closed doors this afternoon. Many say their support will hinge upon what is discussed during the meeting.

Details about the agreement are still emerging, but an aide close to the talks confirmed to ABC News that the topline value for new spending has decreased from $579 billion to $550 billion.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the chief Democratic negotiator, told reporters that she expects some of the bill text to be available Wednesday, with further updates released as remaining details are worked out.

A “small tiny thing” related to transit and a “small thing” related to broadband must still be addressed, Sinema said.

Sinema said she spoke with President Joe Biden and said he is “very excited” about and “committed to” the plan.

Sen. Rob Portman, who has been the chief negotiator for Republicans on the bill, announced the agreement flanked by the four other Republicans in the core negotiating group.

“As of late last night and really early this morning we now have an agreement on the major issues we are prepared to move forward,” Portman said. “We look forward to moving ahead and having the opportunity to have a healthy debate here in the chamber regarding an incredibly important project to the American people.”

Democrats who are part of the negotiations confirmed that a deal had been struck.

Sen. Joe Manchin, asked if it was his understanding that a bipartisan deal had been reached, replied “That sure is.”

It’s still not clear if all Democrats are going to support the bipartisan deal. Democratic Whip Dick Durbin Wednesday morning said it was an “unanswered question” whether all Democrats back the deal.

“I don’t believe we certainly don’t have a whip or people signing on the dotted line,” Durbin said. “We need some assurances that we are all in this together.”

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