WASHINGTON - Inside the beltway, all eyes are on the Senate to see if it will act soon on the new bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Over the weekend, the document finally made its way out of committee to the Senate floor. It's almost 3,000 pages long, including the most funding in years to address the nation's aging roads and bridges and more.
By all accounts, it was a long, painstaking process for a bipartisan group of legislators to come up with the 2,700-page document. Now the next process has begun, which could be tedious as well – that of the whole Senate scrutinizing the bill and agreeing on what amendments need to be made.
"The bipartisan infrastructure bill is designed to bring our infrastructure up to date for a new century, and that is a significant achievement," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Schumer introduced the bill to the floor late Sunday night, a move receiving rare praise from members of both parties.
"We will continue to once again demonstrate to our country and to the world that we can indeed do our jobs, that we can legislate, that we can work together," said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
"No new taxes, core infrastructure only, and it's great for the American people," added Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
The bill's price tag is $1.1 trillion. It includes $550 billion in new spending, $110 billion earmarked for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transit, and $65 billion to expand broadband internet.
When it comes to the Senate body backing the bill, there's a sense of optimism. Asked if he believes the bill will pass the Senate, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was not vague.
"I do, oh absolutely I do," Manchin said. "When you see Chuck Schumer and you see Mitch McConnell both voting for the same thing, it's unbelievable."
"I believe the Senate can quickly process relevant amendments and pass this bill in a matter of days," Schumer said.
"It's gonna pass, the bill will pass," said CBN News Chief Political Analyst David Brody. "It's not even a question at this point. Yes, there's gonna be an amendment process and what day will they wrap up all of that yada, yada, yada, but the bottom line is it will pass because you don't get this far in Washington and Chuck Schumer would never put the bill on the floor if he didn't have the votes."
At the same time, some members of the GOP are insisting that the process not be rushed.
"Our full consideration of this bill must not be choked off by any artificial timetable that our Democratic colleagues may have penciled out for political purposes," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). "While I salute the hard work of my colleagues who produced the base text that's now before us, their conversations can't be the Senate's last word."
But even if and when the bill passes the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will not introduce it onto the floor until the Senate passes the Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. That legislation includes the more controversial social and climate pieces, and other left-wing priorities like universal pre-kindergarten, expanding Medicare and Medicaid, that are not in the infrastructure bill.