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After months of reporting on the haggling between Republicans and Democrats to pass Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill, we enlisted Matt Wuerker, a cartoonist, to provide us with an explainer video that gives us more information about the 45-year-old thinking behind it.

In order to successfully get a bill approved, Wuerker engaged in a discussion with POLITICO’s congressional reporter Sarah Ferris to gain a clearer understanding, before proceeding to outline the details.

This discussion has been altered for brevity and comprehensibility.

What aspects of the current process are going unnoticed or not being comprehended by people?

There must be secret negotiations for any kind of contentious legislation, which can take weeks or even months. The process of going through committee and reaching the House floor involves much more than simply determining whether there is support.

How do you secure the votes for it when the bill is brought to the floor, what motivates party leaders to bring forth this legislation, and what will be the political ramifications?

POLITICO Illustration by Matt Wuerker.

And it’s not only committees, but there are also bipartisan factions that are involved in the process?

The Senate obstruction, that 60-vote threshold, is the major obstacle that Democrats have been grappling with for years. Indeed, they concur on numerous matters, but it’s worth considering that both the House and Senate chairpersons are Democrats.

It is not common for there to be a lack of legislation in the majority, and it is important to have bipartisan cooperation in order to pass and draft bills. It is not possible for only the chairman of the Democratic party to send bills to the President and be responsible for passing and drafting them.

Why are you going to have the leaders of the two party sides sitting in a room hashing out things that’s why this bipartisan group has basically gone rogue?

POLITICO Illustration by Matt Wuerker.

Did the previous edition of Schoolhouse Rock “I’m simply a Bill” omit anything?

Prior to committing to draft a bill, both parties must reach an agreement – one that encompasses not only the specific legislation, frameworks, and proposals, but also extends beyond. Currently, a more precise rendition of this Schoolhouse Rock video could revolve around.

His bill has now vanished, and it can’t be found anywhere. Instead, the Senate wanted to take up their own version of the bipartisan bill. Peter DeFazio, who is the chairman of the House transportation and infrastructure committee, had prepared this entire bill. Unfortunately, it seems like it will never see the light of day.

POLITICO Illustration by Matt Wuerker.

These highly experienced committee chairmen, such as DeFazio, who supposedly possess significant authority, ultimately lack any real influence?

‘If the party leaders on both sides can affirm it, we possess the necessary votes to successfully pass this. The sole means for it to reach the floor is by granting approval to a bill from the committee and subsequently forwarding it. While they won’t be the ones wielding the gavel in the end, they will be operating covertly.’

Furthermore, to compound matters, when discussing the infrastructure bill, we are essentially referring to two distinct bills: the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a separate $3.5 trillion bill that was separated due to the recognition that it would not pass the filibuster but rather be pursued through reconciliation.

It is extremely rare for either governing party to put together a package that can actually get signed into law. If you want substantial changes to policy, it’s only the game in town. The only thing that motivates Congress to get things done is a deadline. And the only way to attach it to a ‘must-pass’ government shutdown looming kind of legislation is through other means.

POLITICO Illustration by Matt Wuerker.

Another idea that has emerged, which is not included in the Schoolhouse Rock lesson, is vote-a-rama. And to undergo this procedure in the Senate, we experienced a vote-a-rama that lasted until four in the morning. So what exactly is a vote-a-rama?

Whenever a potentially contentious matter is put up for a vote, members like Sinema Kyrsten or Manchin Joe, along with McConnell Mitch, essentially try to gain their support. When it comes to these political votes, senators have the ability to propose unlimited amendments using these rather obscure rules. Every time they attempt to make special budgetary amendments, they are compelled to go through this process, regardless of whether or not their party has full control of Congress.

The committee receives a certain amount of money. Also, you don’t have to say exactly what it’s going to be. You also don’t have to have all the money to spend. You can think of the resolution budget as a checklist for how much money you can spend in certain categories.

Is there a variation in the role of presidents from one administration to another? Are certain presidents more engaged in this intricate process than others?

We have seen a mix of different personalities and how they interact with Congress in Former President Barack Obama’s time in office. Joe Biden, who is now very close with the legislative team in the Senate, has been talking up various groups daily to win them over. However, he didn’t really threaten members of Congress outright to vote for bills, unlike Former President Donald Trump, who would often send Joe Biden to do the dirty work. If Trump had a little more vinegar in his approach, he would have had more success in working with Congress.

POLITICO Illustration by Matt Wuerker.

What is the most common misunderstanding that the public has about the present legislative procedure?

There are actually many unseen obstacles in deciding how to create these bills, but the people in charge of the Senate and House have more flexibility, and it’s a much more complex process than people generally perceive.

Congress often finds itself in a predicament with various extensions. It is unlikely to obtain the necessary votes to take even the initial step towards a solution. The real challenge lies in generating an actual proposal. This is something that you must recognize.