What's up with BIF?

Email sent: Jul 21, 2021 6:00pm
A vote on the bipartisan infrastructure framework is expected to fail.

A vote on the bipartisan infrastructure framework is expected to fail today; estimates place India’s Covid-19 death toll in the millions.


Tonight's Sentences was written by Gabby Birenbaum.


BIF up for a vote

Sen. Rob Portman (R), the lead Republican negotiator of BIF

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s afternoon deadline for a test vote on the bipartisan infrastructure framework was meant to pressure lawmakers into closing the deal. Instead, the vote is expected to fail, sending them back to the negotiating table. [The Hill / Alexander Bolton]
  • Senate Republican negotiators have said they will not vote open debate on the bill until the entire text of the agreement is finalized. [WSJ / Kristina Peterson and Andrew Duehren]
  • Republicans say they do not want to advance a bill that is not 100 percent done. But Schumer wants to speed up the snail’s pace at which the Senate can move by clearing a procedural roadblock. [NPR / Barbara Sprunt]
  • The bipartisan group, encompassing 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, has been working for weeks to hash out an agreement, which has repeatedly gotten tangled up over pay-fors. The senators insist they can solve all remaining disagreements by next Monday. [CBS News / Melissa Quinn]
  • BIF hit a snag when Republicans, pressured by anti-tax conservative groups, backed away from an earlier agreement to increase IRS funding, which would have allowed for greater tax enforcement and revenue. Now the group must make up for that gap with another pay-for. [NYT / Jim Tankersley and Emily Cochrane]
  • Given how long the negotiations have gone on, it’s unlikely that a failed vote today will deter senators from continuing to haggle. But while Republicans say Schumer’s move was unhelpful, Democrats say it adds needed pressure. [Politico / Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett]
  • Meanwhile, House Democrats are getting frustrated, with some concerned that Republicans are intentionally dragging their feet in order to hamper the entire Democratic agenda — including their human infrastructure-focused budget bill. [Washington Post / Tony Romm, Mike DeBonis, and Seung Min Kim]
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Studies paint a grim Covid-19 picture in India

  • A new study out of India found that two-thirds of the country’s population has coronavirus antibodies. [Bloomberg / Bibhudatta Pradhan]
  • The figure, found in a government survey, demonstrates just how widespread India’s devastating second wave of Covid-19 was. A prior survey in December and January found antibodies present in 24 percent of people. [Guardian / Hannah Ellis-Petersen]
  • Another study, from the Center for Global Development, estimates that the death toll from the coronavirus in India is up to 10 times worse than the government’s official statistics — between 3.4 million and 4.7 million. [NPR / Sushmita Pathak, Lauren Frayer, and Marc Silver]
  • Researchers came up with that number by looking at local registries, household surveys, and blood test rates to calculate the number of excess deaths by comparing those that occurred in the period since the coronavirus was first detected in India to that same period in prior years. [WSJ / Shan Li]

Frito-Lay workers have been striking for over two weeks to demand better pay and safer working conditions after a worker collapsed and died on the job in Kansas. [Vox / Emily Stewart]

  • Despite having raised the debt ceiling multiple times during the Trump administration, Republicans are now threatening to hold up a debt ceiling increase, with the deadline next week looming. [Washington Post / Tony Romm and Seung Min Kim]
  • The California couple that caused a wildfire with their gender reveal has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. [BuzzFeed News / Paige Skinner]
  • The Norwegian women’s beach handball team has been fined for wearing biker shorts rather than bikini bottoms during a recent game. [NPR / Bill Chappell]

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“We rolled this thing out a month ago and we’re still talking about it? C’mon guys. Everybody on that call has been around long enough to know nothing happens unless pressure is put on.”

Why we can't have nice trains

And how it got so dam expensive to build things in America. [Spotify / Sean Rameswaram]

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