US President Joe Biden and Republicans came into the weekend strongly at odds over how to craft an infrastructure deal that could satisfy their sides, jeopardizing the odds of a bipartisan deal Democrat Biden rejected a new proposal from top Republican infrastructure negotiator, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, which increased spending by about $ 50 billion over her last offer, the White House said.
Biden rejected the offer, saying it “did not meet its goals of growing the economy, addressing the climate crisis and creating new jobs. Republicans had previously offered roughly $ 257 billion in new spending, less than the $ 2.25 trillion that Biden initially offered and suggested he could cut it down to just $ 1 trillion And while the two sides agreed to speak again Monday, the White House also strongly noted that they may seek a way forward with other Republican lawmakers or even just Democrats.
“She indicated to Senator Capito that she would continue to engage various senators in both parties in hopes of achieving a more substantial package,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Until now, Capito has been Biden’s main negotiating partner. Monday’s conversation will be the third in a week Biden is eager to show that he made a good-faith effort at a bipartisan deal, sources said, but risks creating division among Democrats, some who believe he is giving in too much to Republicans. Democrats have narrow majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
A Capito spokesman offered scant details of what was discussed on the call, saying they “continued to negotiate” and discussed the views of both parties Friday’s call showed serious obstacles to bipartisan negotiations remain, even just two days after Biden presented his biggest concession yet Biden offered to drop his plan to raise corporate tax rates to 28% during an Oval Office meeting with Capito, the sources said, replacing it with a minimum tax rate of 15% aimed at ensuring all businesses pay taxes.
Republican leaders see corporate tax increases to fund the construction of roads, bridges, water pipes, and other projects as an obstacle Biden could now choose to strike a deal that includes most of his wish list that, at best, he could only secure the backing of his fellow Democrats Doing so would require seeking a party-line “reconciliation” vote. Reconciliation circumvents Senate rules that effectively require 60 votes to pass most laws.
But Biden’s individual sessions between Biden and Capito are increasingly testing the patience of the Liberal Democrats by diluting their goals and delaying legislative action in the period before Congress goes into recess for the summer vacation Sen. Bernie Sanders, a liberal courted by the White House, said Republicans have passed massive tax cuts without bipartisan support and that he sees no reason why Democrats couldn’t move forward in a similar way.
“Please don’t tell me we can’t use the same tools to help workers,” Sanders said A group of young activists from the Sunrise Movement, who want to stop climate change and create jobs, gathered outside the White House on Friday to protest what they called Biden’s broken promises and to please Republicans “We are demanding that he stop working with the Republican Party, meet with us, and approve the largest and most robust infrastructure package that he can,” said Ellen Scales, 24, a member of Sunrise. A movement that was consulted by Biden’s presidential campaign.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have already begun work on a bill that may end as a one-party effort. Biden called on the Democratic leader of a congressional committee working on that bill, Peter DeFazio, to “offer his support” for that initial work, Psaki said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had said the White House views Monday, when Congress returns from a week-long recess, as a critical date to see progress in the talks But White House press secretary Jen Psaki stopped Friday by declaring any deadline.
“We are going to keep a variety of roads open,” she told reporters.