Biden ends infrastructure talks with Republican senators: NPR
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President Biden turned down the latest offer on an infrastructure deal from Senate Republicans on Tuesday, bringing debate over one of the president’s top national priorities into a new phase.
Biden put the kibosh on the negotiations after informing Republican West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito that “his group’s latest offer did not, in his opinion, meet our country’s basic needs to restore our roads and bridges , prepare for our own energy future and create jobs, âaccording to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
“He offered her gratitude for his efforts and good faith conversations, but expressed disappointment that while he was ready to cut his plan by more than $ 1 trillion, the Republican group had only increased its new investments proposed only $ 150 billion. “
Capito separately confirmed in a statement that Biden has ended negotiations with her.
Capito said the GOP senatorial group came up with a $ 1 trillion package that the president was prepared to accept, but that the question of how to pay for the compromise proposal was not something the two of them had to deal with. parties could get along.
âIn our discussions with the President, he himself made it clear that he was prepared to accept an offer of around $ 1 trillion, that basic expenses would and could be included, and that a plan could extend over a period of 8 years. president also understood one of our red lines, which does not undo the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017, which has helped so many Americans. Our latest offer, coupled with legislation the Senate is expected to pass today, would have passed the president’s threshold, âCapito said in a written statement.
Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on how to pay for the package. Democrats have offered to raise the corporate tax rate, but Republicans, who have overseen tax cuts for wealthier Americans, balked. They want to pay for the plan through user fees. The White House rejected the idea, insisting it equates to a tax on Americans earning less than $ 400,000, the income at which Biden’s tax hike would begin.
Capito said: “Despite the progress we have made in our negotiations, the President has continued to respond with offers that include tax increases as a salary, instead of several practical options that would not have been detrimental to individuals, families and small businesses.
“While I appreciate President Biden’s willingness to devote so much time and effort to these negotiations, he ultimately chose not to accept the very robust and focused infrastructure package, and instead, to end to our discussions. “
There is a bipartisan group of senators already working to try to put together a package and see if it is possible to create something that could get 60 votes.
Separately, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., told reporters on Tuesday that Democrats would work on a separate track and start drafting an infrastructure plan that would move forward through reconciliation and could move on with only Democrats’ votes. It is not known which proposal could unite all the Democrats in the Senate.
NPR congressional editor Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.