The Senate voted 52-48 Monday to kill President Donald Trump’s infrastructure bill, which the White House and Democrats argued was too expensive.
Trump had promised to cut the cost of his tax cuts by $1 trillion.
The Senate bill, however, would have slashed the tax credits for infrastructure spending and increased the debt ceiling by nearly $1.6 trillion.
Democrats say it is too big and too expensive, especially when compared with the savings the administration could make by cutting corporate tax rates and making other infrastructure spending more competitive.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the GOP plan would cut the deficit by $500 billion over 10 years, while Republicans would make the budget deficit smaller by $200 billion.
Senate Democrats say the bill is not enough and would be too much for the middle class and the poor.
They argue that the bill will not produce sufficient infrastructure investment and that it would have a negative impact on the nation’s ability to compete in the global economy.
“If the Senate were to pass a Republican version of the bill, it would likely have a significant impact on our economic growth, job creation, and the economic vitality of the American economy,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said Monday.
“We would be sending a very clear message to the president that he needs to come back and work with us on a bipartisan basis and that we’re serious about our infrastructure.”
Democrats also argued that the $1tn in savings would be lost in taxes, with the president’s proposed $1,000 investment tax credit costing $3,000 per $1 billion of investment.
The bill would have given the federal government $1 in new revenue every $1 invested.
The House passed its version of a similar infrastructure bill last month.
It also would have cut corporate taxes by $4,000.
Republicans had urged Democrats to support the bill because it would provide significant tax relief for businesses and individuals, especially middle-class workers.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D, N.Y., called the bill “the most expensive and complicated bill we’ve seen.”
“I’m very disappointed in the Senate for doing what they did today,” Schumer said.
“The president can’t be allowed to get away with passing an unpopular bill, especially one that is so unpopular that the American people don’t want it in their hands.”
The Senate also approved legislation to extend unemployment insurance for another two weeks.
The measure would provide a lifeline for those who have lost their jobs or been laid off and would also extend unemployment benefits for nearly one million people who have been out of work for more than a year.
Democrats have criticized the bill as a “death-in-the-making” that would hurt working Americans.
“There’s just too much going on,” Sen-Elect Jon Tester, D., the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, told reporters.
“I think this is just the wrong bill.”
The White House has also said that the House bill would cut benefits for people with disabilities and other vulnerable Americans.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a member of Trump’s transition team, told The Hill on Sunday that Trump would “get it right” with his infrastructure plan.
“He’s going to get it right,” Cotton said.