Biden Signs Bill Ending Furlough of 3,700 Transportation Workers

WASHINGTON — The Senate met briefly on Saturday to ship a invoice to President Biden reviving key transportation packages that had lapsed two days earlier and bringing again almost 4,000 furloughed employees. Hours later, Mr. Biden signed it.

The uncommon weekend session was vital as a result of Congress didn’t handle expiring transportation packages when it handed laws on Thursday to avert a authorities shutdown. These reauthorizations had been included in a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure invoice that had been scheduled for a vote on the identical day however by no means got here up amid deep divisions amongst congressional Democrats over the measure.

Senators permitted by unanimous consent a movement from Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and the chairman of the Finance Committee, to increase the expiring transportation packages for 30 days and finish the furloughs of 3,700 employees. The stopgap invoice, which the Home handed on Friday by a vote of 365 to 51, extends the packages by means of Oct. 31.

The Saturday vote capped an intense week on the Capitol, the place Democrats tried and didn’t advance a significant piece of Mr. Biden’s agenda. The almost 100-member Congressional Progressive Caucus blocked a vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure invoice within the Home, searching for leverage to safe passage of a bigger $3.5 trillion home coverage invoice that Mr. Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the bulk chief, had assured the caucus would advance as half of a “two-track” course of with the infrastructure invoice.

The progressives’ stance compelled Ms. Pelosi to delay a deliberate vote on the infrastructure invoice and finally prompted Mr. Biden to aspect with them in saying that there might be no vote on that invoice till settlement on the far broader social coverage and local weather measure had been reached.

In a letter to lawmakers on Saturday, Ms. Pelosi urged passage of the infrastructure invoice by the top of the month, and signaled that Democratic leaders had been persevering with to barter the broader social coverage and local weather invoice with Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two Democratic holdouts who’re key swing votes wanted to cross laws within the Senate.

“Once more, we’ll and should cross each payments quickly,” Ms. Pelosi wrote. “We’ve the duty and the chance to take action.”

Ms. Sinema launched a press release on Saturday condemning the delay of the vote on infrastructure, calling it a “failure” and “deeply disappointing for communities throughout our nation.”

“Denying People thousands and thousands of good-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, extra dependable electrical energy and higher broadband solely hurts on a regular basis households,” Ms. Sinema stated. “Arizonans, and all on a regular basis People, anticipate their lawmakers to contemplate laws on the deserves — moderately than hinder new jobs and important infrastructure investments for no substantive motive.”

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