Sen. Collins: At Least 10 GOP Senators Will Vote for Infrastructure Bill

Sen. Susan Collins, one of the negotiators working on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, said Sunday lawmakers are “just about finished” working up the language of the legislation and she believes that at least 10 Republican senators will vote to pass the bill this week. 

“Large parts of the text have already been shared with Senate offices,” the Maine Republican told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Overnight we’ve been finishing up the spending provisions, appropriations provisions, and marrying them to the bill. We really are just about finished.”

She acknowledged it is difficult to “translate an agreement into actual bill language,” but Friday night the negotiators sent Senate offices a large amount of the information authorizing the policy legislation, and it is her expectation and her “hope” that the bill will be passed this week. 

“We’re going into the session today at 12 and I think we will be able to lay down the bill later today and begin perhaps the consideration of some amendments,” said Collins. “My hope is that we’ll finish the bill by the end of the week.”

The measure, she added, will come with GOP support because it is “good for America.”

“Every senator can look at bridges and roads and the need for more broadband, waterways in their state seaports and airports and see the benefits, the very concrete benefits, no pun intended, of this legislation,” said Collins. “It’s going to make us more competitive, more productive. It’s going to create good jobs.”

Former President Donald Trump last week vowed to help defeat GOP senators who support the bipartisan bill, but Collins said senators will need to make their own decision and weigh the legislation’s benefits to their states. 

“I have worked with the members of our group so that we have a state-by-state analysis and in the end, I think we will have more than 10 Republicans who support the bill,” she said. “It’s worth pointing out that President Trump proposed an infrastructure package of $1.5 trillion so he, too, at one point recognized the need for investment in infrastructure.”

Collins also discussed last week’s testimony before the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6. She said she’s met with police officers responding to the Capitol on that day, including at least one of the officers testifying last week, and stressed that they still need help, as they risked their lives to defend everybody who was in the Capitol that day, including me.”

However, she said she thinks that a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the events of that day should have been formed rather than “Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi’s partisan committee.” 

She added that she respects GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the only Republicans on the committee, but she does not think it was right for Pelosi to reject House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s choices for the panel, even with the potential that Rep. Jim Jordan, one of the rejected picks, could be called to testify about his conversations with Trump on Jan. 6. 

“There were many communications with the president, and for anyone, the rioters, the president, anyone to try to interfere with the Electoral College count is completely unacceptable,” said Collins. 

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