WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate negotiators to a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have reached agreement on the major components of the measure, Republican Senator Rob Portman told reporters on Wednesday.
That could clear the way for the legislation to begin moving through the Senate following months of talks. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said a procedural vote on a bipartisan bill was possible as soon as Wednesday night.
"Senators continue to make good progress," Democrat Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor.
Republican Senator Susan Collins, however, cautioned that some details were still being finalized.
Another Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski, told reporters, "I think that there is a strong, solid number of folks on both sides of the aisle that want to get on to an infrastructure package."
She added that senators will be briefed on the measure being negotiated "in these next hours."
The procedural vote would simply limit debate on whether the Senate should begin considering a bipartisan infrastructure investment bill that is thought to be in the range of $1.2 trillion.
On July 21, Republicans blocked such a move, complaining that a bill had not yet been written.
Democrats are hoping to pass this month or early next month whatever measure is agreed upon in the bipartisan negotiations.
That could help clear the way for Democrats to begin pushing another large spending bill totaling around $3.5 trillion that Republicans are vowing to oppose.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Diane Craft)
Donald Trump has hinted that he might choose Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as his running mate if he enters the 2024 race, but he might have to move again first.
The twice-impeached one-term president changed his residence to Florida in late 2019, while still living in the White House, but a rarely invoked constitutional provision in the 12th Amendment may force him to pull up stakes again if he wants the GOP governor on the ticket, reported the Tampa Bay Times.
"The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves," reads the provision.
In other words, Florida electors cannot vote for both a president and vice president who come from their state, and constitutional experts agree the provision is clear, if possibly outdated.
"Whether or not the requirement that you vote for someone other than someone from your state makes sense today, and it probably doesn't, the text is clear," said Vikram Amar, dean of the University of Illinois College of Law and a professor of constitutional law. "It's pretty anachronistic, but there it is, part of the text."
The amendment, which is rooted in the framers' concerns about handing too much power to individual states, would permit Trump and DeSantis to run on the same ticket, but would require one of them -- most likely DeSantis -- to give up Florida's 30 Electoral College votes, potentially turning his election over to a hyper-partisan U.S. Congress.
"It would be an impediment unless they took some action to deal with it," said Robert William Bennett, a Northwestern University law professor and expert on the Electoral College. "One action would be that Trump could give up whatever his place in Florida is. He certainly has credentials for being a resident of the state of New York, if not other places."
Dick Cheney moved to Wyoming in 2000, as George W. Bush picked him as running mate, and a legal challenge to Cheney's claim to Texas' electoral votes failed after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene, and legal experts expect a similar outcome if Trump changes his address before Nov. 5, 2024.
"People are allowed to move," said Akhil Reed Amar, a professor at Yale Law School. "If Trump wants to move, he can move. He has plenty of time to move, but it should be a real move. They shouldn't thumb their nose at the Constitution."
Writing for NBC News, Chuck Todd and Mark Murray and Ben Kamisar contend that Donald Trump "sure had a rough day on Tuesday" as the House's Jan. 6 committee heard testimony from Capitol police who confronted rioters that day.
"Notably, Trump didn't comment on yesterday's testimony (but he did fire off statements on masks, crime and the Ohio-15 special election)," they write. "Then Trump's endorsed candidate in Texas' 6th Congressional District — Republican Susan Wright — lost to fellow Republican Jake Ellzey, demonstrating the limits to a Trump endorsement, even in a low-turnout runoff."
Todd, Murray and Kamisar write that while Republicans have tried numerous way to appease Trump, "they've never to tried to marginalize a former president who, it turns out, doesn't have as much power as they think he does."
Trump's "bad day" could get worse now that the Department of Justice says it will not block former Trump administration officials from testifying in the commission.
Trump hasn't commented on the testimony at the Jan. 6 hearing, nor has be commented on Wright's loss.
Read more at NBC News.
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