Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
White House, GOP Infrastructure Talks Reaching Key Stage
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 3 years ago on
May 21, 2021

Share

WASHINGTON — Negotiations between the White House and Republican senators over President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan are reaching a crucial stage before more talks Friday after the latest offer from GOP lawmakers left some dismay in the administration that there wasn’t more movement from their initial $568 billion proposal.

Republicans did increase their plan and have worked in good faith with the White House, according to a Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks.

But the slog of those negotiations is certain to mean new worries from Democrats that time is slipping to strike a compromise. The president’s team had set a soft Memorial Day deadline to determine whether a deal was within reach.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “productive conversations” are underway on Capitol Hill.

The White House team, including senior advisor Steve Ricchetti and head of legislative affairs Louisa Terrell, was expected to resume talks with the senators Friday. “We’re looking forward to constructive conversations,” Psaki said.

Biden Reaches Out to Republicans for Bipartisan Support

Securing a vast infrastructure plan is Biden’s top priority as he seeks to make good on his campaign pledge to “build back better” in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis and the economic churn from a shifting economy. With narrow Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, the president is reaching out to Republicans for support on a potentially bipartisan approach rather than relying simply on his own party to muscle the proposal to passage. But Republicans are refusing Biden’s idea of a corporate tax increase to pay for the package.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday on Fox News that higher taxes on corporations or the wealthiest Americans are nonstarters. Republicans are unwilling to undo the 2017 tax cuts, the party’s signature domestic accomplishment under President Donald Trump. They reduced the corporate rate from 35% to 21%. Biden proposes lifting the corporate tax to 28%.

“If they’re willing to settle on target a infrastructure bill without revisiting the 2017 tax bill we’ll work with them,” McConnell told Fox’s Larry Kudlow, a former Trump adviser. But McConnell, R-Ky., said a package topping $2 trillion or more “is not going to have any Republican support.”

The administration and the GOP senators have been in talks ever since Biden met with a core group of Republican negotiators last week over the possibility of working together on a plan. The White House dispatched the transportation and commerce secretaries and top aides to Capitol Hill to meet with the Republicans late Tuesday after the president asked the senators to provide more details on their initial offer.

The lead Republican negotiator, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, was encouraged by the talks and expected the White House to be back in touch by week’s end, her office said.

But there was “not a significantly changed offer” from the Republicans during their meeting with the administration this week, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private negotiations.

Republicans’ Counteroffer Not a Substantial Budge

The White House’s hopes for a bipartisan deal on infrastructure have cooled but they have not abandoned the effort, according to an administration official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss about the private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity. There was some dismay that the Republican counteroffer did not substantially budge from the party’s original $568 billion proposal, leaving it far short of the White House’s plan, according to the official.

Biden has reveled in the face-to-face negotiations, aides said, and has expressed hope to bring Republicans along. West Wing officials have been hearted by the public comments made by some of the GOP negotiating team, including Capito, the official said.

But the outward talks of progress have not translated into the two sides getting much closer to a deal. Beyond the significant gap in the two sides’ visions for the size of the package, there has been little discussion of how to reach an agreement on how to pay for it.

One GOP senator in the talks suggested tapping unspent funds from the massive COVID-19 aid package to help pay for the infrastructure investment. Other funds could be tapped from uncollected tax revenues or public-private partnerships.

One strategy that had gained momentum would be for Biden to negotiate a more limited, traditional infrastructure bill of roads, highways, bridges and broadband as a bipartisan effort. Then, Democrats could try to muscle through the remainder of Biden’s priorities on climate investments and the so-called human infrastructure of child care, education and hospitals on their own.

But, administration aides believe, if such an “infrastructure only” bipartisan deal is far smaller than Biden’s original proposal, the White House risks a rebellion from Democrats who could claim that the president made a bad deal and missed the moment to pass a sweeping, transformational package.

DON'T MISS

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

DON'T MISS

Did Fresno Unified’s Biggest Contractor Not Pay Its Workers? Company Still Gets Millions After Civil Penalty

DON'T MISS

Biden Marks Earth Day by Going After GOP, Announcing $7 Billion in Federal Solar Power Grants

DON'T MISS

Fresno Unified Says It Has No Superintendent Succession Plan Despite HR Leader’s Claim

DON'T MISS

Work Starts on Bullet Train Line From Las Vegas to LA

DON'T MISS

Trustees to Vote on New Fresno High Gym, Bullard Security Fence. Who Were the Low Bidders?

DON'T MISS

Will CA Lawmakers Crack Down on Spending by Utility Companies?

DON'T MISS

Supreme Court Will Take Up the Legal Fight Over Ghost Guns, Firearms Without Serial Numbers

DON'T MISS

Express Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, Announces Store Closures

DON'T MISS

Will There Be a Third Measure E? What Richard Spencer Says.

UP NEXT

15 People Injured When Tram Collides With Guardrail at Universal Studios Theme Park

UP NEXT

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

Fresno Unified Says It Has No Superintendent Succession Plan Despite HR Leader’s Claim

9 hours ago

Work Starts on Bullet Train Line From Las Vegas to LA

10 hours ago

Trustees to Vote on New Fresno High Gym, Bullard Security Fence. Who Were the Low Bidders?

Local Education /

12 hours ago

Will CA Lawmakers Crack Down on Spending by Utility Companies?

12 hours ago

Supreme Court Will Take Up the Legal Fight Over Ghost Guns, Firearms Without Serial Numbers

12 hours ago

Express Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, Announces Store Closures

12 hours ago

Will There Be a Third Measure E? What Richard Spencer Says.

13 hours ago

Melvin and Matzah: Giants Manager Recalls Childhood Passover

13 hours ago

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Safe After Suspect Breaks Into Official Residence, Police Say

14 hours ago

Newsom Wants to Make It Easier for Arizona Women to Get a California Abortion

14 hours ago

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

Lana Vierra misses the swing set at her Lahaina home, which was reduced to ashes in the wildfires that swept through her community last summ...

8 hours ago

8 hours ago

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

9 hours ago

Did Fresno Unified’s Biggest Contractor Not Pay Its Workers? Company Still Gets Millions After Civil Penalty

9 hours ago

Biden Marks Earth Day by Going After GOP, Announcing $7 Billion in Federal Solar Power Grants

9 hours ago

Fresno Unified Says It Has No Superintendent Succession Plan Despite HR Leader’s Claim

10 hours ago

Work Starts on Bullet Train Line From Las Vegas to LA

Local Education /
12 hours ago

Trustees to Vote on New Fresno High Gym, Bullard Security Fence. Who Were the Low Bidders?

12 hours ago

Will CA Lawmakers Crack Down on Spending by Utility Companies?

12 hours ago

Supreme Court Will Take Up the Legal Fight Over Ghost Guns, Firearms Without Serial Numbers

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend