Burr, Tillis back Senate infrastructure bill

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., left, and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, walk from a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

RALEIGH – Both of North Carolina’s U.S. Senators, Republicans Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, voted to open debate on the “bipartisan infrastructure bill” on Wednesday.

“We are proud to announce we have reached a bipartisan agreement on our proposal to make the strongest investment in America’s critical infrastructure in a generation. Our plan will create good-paying jobs in communities across our country without raising taxes,” a joint statement a group of 20 senators read.

“Reaching this agreement was no easy task—but our constituents expect us to put in the hard work and show that two parties can still work together to address the needs of the American people. We appreciate our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the administration, working with us to get this done and we look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support among our Senate colleagues for this historic legislation.”

The Senate voted 67-32 to advance the measure, expected to cost nearly $1 trillion after weeks of negotiations between the White House and the chamber.

According to a 57-page GOP summary obtained by The Associated Press, the five-year spending package would be paid for by tapping $205 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief aid and $53 billion in unemployment insurance aid some states have halted. It also relies on economic growth to bring in $56 billion, and other measures.

Senate rules require 60 votes to proceed for consideration and ultimately pass this bill.