Schumer hopes for July vote for bipartisan infrastructure bill

U.S. Senate Democrats attend weekly policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday he hoped to have a July vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, but a second measure would be needed to incorporate climate and human infrastructure measures.

The top Senate Democrat told reporters there are many in his caucus who think the bipartisan proposal is a good start but does not do enough.

Democrats and Republicans in the 50-50 split Senate have been negotiating behind the scenes on a potential $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, with slightly more than half of that plan consisting of new funding. The rest would come from already approved money for COVID-19 relief and other programs.

But President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats in Congress want a much larger effort that not only invests in traditional infrastructure such as road and bridge-building, but in significantly reducing carbon emissions and helping the elderly and others receive home healthcare.

"In order to move forward on infrastructure, we must include bold action on climate," Schumer told reporters.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he was hopeful of passage of a bipartisan bill but reiterated that any such measure must not undo any of the 2017 tax law that gave substantial breaks to corporations and the wealthy.

A second, Democrats'-only bill, if there is one, likely would advance this fall.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Susan Cornwell and David Morgan; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney)