Congress

The bigger proposal doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that the party has given up on bipartisan talks just as they gain steam.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters about progress on an infrastructure bill and voting rights legislation. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

By MARIANNE LEVINE and BURGESS EVERETT

06/17/2021 08:37 AM EDT

Updated: 06/17/2021 03:12 PM EDT

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Senate Democrats are weighing spending as much as $6 trillion on their own infrastructure package if the chamber’s bipartisan talks fail, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has repeatedly insisted that infrastructure talks are currently on two tracks: The first track is bipartisan, while the second track will include priorities that have no chance of getting GOP support. He huddled on Wednesday afternoon with Democratic members of the Budget Committee to discuss strategy, with no firm decision reached.

Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been pushing for an aggressive approach to the infrastructure talks and is angling to insert a large expansion of Medicare into Democrats’ plan. Earlier this week, Sanders said he opposed the emerging bipartisan agreement. He acknowledged that the bipartisan talks could impact his plans but vowed to proceed.

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