Biden concludes infrastructure talks with Republicans without reaching deal

White House will now shift focus to working with a bipartisan group of 20 senators

June 09, 2021 / 1 minute read
The White House infrastructure plan

UPDATE Friday, 6/11/2021:

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), Jon Tester (D-Montana), and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) issued the following statement on Thursday, June 10:

“Our group—comprised of 10 Senators, 5 from each party—has worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies. This investment would be fully paid for and not include tax increases. We are discussing our approach with our respective colleagues, and the White House, and remain optimistic that this can lay the groundwork to garner broad support from both parties and meet America’s infrastructure needs.”

A source familiar with the deal told Reuters it would cost $974 billion over five years and $1.2 trillion over eight years, and includes $579 billion in new spending.

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ORIGINAL STORY posted Wednesday, 6/9/2021:

President Biden on Tuesday concluded efforts to reach a deal with Senate Republicans on his American Jobs Plan.

The president's original $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, introduced in late March, included $621 billion dedicated to transportation infrastructure. A few weeks later, Senate Republicans unveiled their own $568 billion infrastructure package, which included $299 billion for roads and bridges and $61 billion for public transit systems.

The president was in negotiations with Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), the leading Republican negotiator and Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. According to the New York Times, in a final telephone call on Tuesday, President Biden told the Senator that the divide between the two sides was too large to bridge.

According to a statement from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the President informed Senator Capito that the latest offer from Senate Republicans did not, in his view, meet the essential needs of the country to restore roads and bridges, prepare for a clean energy future, and create jobs. Psaki also said the President "expressed his disappointment that, while he was willing to reduce his plan by more than $1 trillion, the Republican group had increased their proposed new investments by only $150 billion."

According to Politico, the White House will now shift focus to working with a bipartisan group of 20 senators, 10 from each party, who have been meeting for months to reach a bipartisan infrastructure agreement. This effort is being led by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Politico says this group has been closing in on a $900 billion infrastructure framework, but has yet to finalize any plan.

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SOURCE: New York Times / Politico / The White House

UPDATE: Office of Senator Mitt Romney / Reuters

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