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Senate negotiators signal deal on infrastructure details

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks with Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on June 8. Portman and moderate Republicans and Democrats Wednesday reach a deal on a bipartisan infrastructure package. Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/UPI
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks with Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on June 8. Portman and moderate Republicans and Democrats Wednesday reach a deal on a bipartisan infrastructure package. Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/UPI | License Photo

July 28 (UPI) -- Senate Republicans working with the White House and Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill said Wednesday they have a deal on all major issues and it is nearly ready to go to the floor.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told reporters a cloture vote could come as early as Wednesday night, the next step before bringing it to the full body.

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"As of late last night, and really early this morning, we now have an agreement on the major issues," Portman said, according to Politico. "We are prepared to move forward."

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who has served as the Democrats lead negotiator, said the bill is going through some fine-tuning.

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"We do expect to move forward this evening. We're very excited to have a deal," Sinema said, according to NBC News. "[We have] most of the text done. so we'll be releasing it today, and then we'll update it as we get those last pieces finalized.

Some Republicans, who were not part of the negotiating team, appeared a little more hesitant.

"This idea of getting on a bill that's still being written is still a bad idea," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said, according to Politico. "We're going to insist upon amendments because this bill's been negotiated by 20 people but there are 80 other senators."

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If the bill makes it out of the Senate, it still has to be approved by the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she will not comment on the bill until she is able to see the final legislation.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., bristled at the suggestion by some Republicans to reject the deal regardless.

"I am amazed that there's some who oppose this just because they think that if you ever get anything done, somehow it's a sign of weakness," Cassidy said, according to NBC News. "I have no clue what they mean. My state has been impacted more than any other state by flooding and natural disasters these past two years."

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