Manchin on Whether He and Colleagues Will Read 2,702-Page Infrastructure Bill: 'That's What We Have a Big Staff For'

By Elisabeth Nieshalla | August 6, 2021 | 4:13pm EDT
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- When asked whether he or any of his colleagues in the Senate will read all 2,702 pages of the infrastructure bill before voting on it, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said, “That’s what we have a big staff for."

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNS News asked the senator, “Will you read all 2,702 pages of the infrastructure bill before voting on it?”

Senator Manchin said, “We have a staff that breaks it all down, gives us every section by section, the whole details -- how’s that?”

In a follow-up question, CNS News asked, “And will any of your colleagues read all of the bill?”

“Well, if they get a chance to, but the bottom line, that’s what we have a big staff for,” he said. “The staff breaks everything down, section by section, so you know how we operate here, okay? They give us all the details in it, the highlights and the redundancies, okay? Everybody will be prepared, they’ll be prepared.”

Senator Manchin’s counterpart from West Virginia, Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito, said she will read a lot but not all of the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)  (Getty images)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (Getty images)

“Most of what’s in that bill is what was passed through my committee, which I have read,” she said. “I’m not sure I’ll get it all read, but a lot of it.”

The “bipartisan” Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would authorize spending for “clean transportation infrastructure, clean water infrastructure, universal broadband infrastructure, clean power infrastructure, remediation of legacy pollution, and resilience to the changing climate,” according to a June 24 White House statement.

The House voted to pass its version of the infrastructure bill on July 1.

While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is determined to hold a vote on the infrastructure bill before the Senate leaves for recess on Aug. 9, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are less enthusiastic about taking action on it.

Leader McConnell said on the Senate floor on Monday, “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.”

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