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Senate Republicans block US infrastructure debate

Senate Republicans blocked Democrat's efforts July 21 to begin formal debate on bipartisan infrastructure legislation by a vote of 51-49.

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The move had been expected as senior Republican leaders expressed concern ahead of the vote that the bill's text and associated costs were not yet available as negotiations continued late into the night July 20.

Despite the rejection, lawmakers from both parties said negotiations will continue, with another vote is expected as soon as July 26. The measure would need to clear a 60-vote threshold to proceed to debate.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer switched his vote to a no at the end of the proceeding to retain his ability to call the same vote on another day.

President Joe Biden first reached a tentative deal with a group of bipartisan Senators on a $579 billion infrastructure plan June 24.

Following the vote, a group of 22 senators who have been negotiating a final package said a final agreement is expected soon.

"We have made significant progress and are close to a final agreement," the senators said in a statement. "We will continue working hard to ensure we get this critical legislation right – and are optimistic that we will finalize and be prepared to advance this historic bipartisan proposal....in the coming days."