As of lunchtime on Wednesday, US Senators were not provided with a copy of the infrastructure bill by PBS’s own admission. It seems that sometime between lunch and by 7:48 pm the Dems and some Republicans had voted to move the bill forward. US Senator Wicker tweeted out his statement at 7:25 PM on Wednesday, Jul 28, 2021, saying that “Senators are being asked to move forward on a bill that we have not had an opportunity to read.” So, it’s unclear if the bill text was produced sometime between lunch and the vote. However, it is clear that this isn’t enough time to thoroughly read a 700 page bill. If they were speed readers at one page per minute it would still take over 11 hours to skim.
Update note: The text still hadn’t been given to members of Congress, as of Friday July 30, 2021.
“Toomey Votes Against Proceeding to Textless Infrastructure Proposal
JULY 28, 2021 Washington, D.C. – United States Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) released the following statement regarding his vote against proceeding to the infrastructure package:
“Once again today we were asked to proceed to legislation that does not yet exist. While a great deal of work has been done by my colleagues to reach this stage, there remains no text whatsoever. I still have many questions about the spending and how it would be paid for.” ### https://www.toomey.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/toomey-opposes-proceeding-to-infrastructure-package
“Wicker Statement on Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
July 28, 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today released the following statement on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to consider bipartisan infrastructure legislation:
“I have long been a strong supporter of investing in our core infrastructure, but I am unable to support this agreement in its current form,” Wicker said. “Yet again, Senators are being asked to move forward on a bill that we have not had an opportunity to read.” https://www.commerce.senate.gov/2021/7/wicker-statement-on-bipartisan-infrastructure-deal
The infrastructure bill is 700 pages and is a $550 billion bill: “The GOP senators were given a thick binder of briefing materials during a private lunch, but they asked many questions and wanted more details.” See: “Senate votes to start work on $1 trillion infrastructure bill” Politics Jul 28, 2021 7:48 PM EDT https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/senate-votes-to-start-work-on-1-trillion-infrastructure-bill
“Sen. James Lankford @SenatorLankford
Lobbyist are contacting my staff w/ questions on infrastructure bill text they have already seen-Senators & general public don’t have access to it yet. This is DC typical. We hear it is 2,500 pgs—no text has been officially released. How can you vote on a bill that doesn’t exist? 11:56 AM · Jul 30, 2021 “ https://twitter.com/SenatorLankford/status/1421137632566857732