Biden is bringing down the infrastructure price tag, but the GOP wants concessions

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The source said Biden also reiterated his call to pay new taxes for most of his plan. It is the latest sign of a big gap between the two sides as they try to cut an infrastructure deal.

offer made to Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito West Virginia That’s the equivalent of a reduction in the Biden administration’s $1.7 trillion proposal, but a dramatic increase from the latest offer made by Republican senators. Capito and his group of fellow Senate Republicans have proposed a $928 billion infrastructure package, which includes $257 billion in new spending.

The source said Republicans are considering making another counteroffer on Friday.

A White House official could not be reached for comment.

CNN has reported that the $1 trillion figure is in line with what Republicans said Biden was privately floating for him. The White House has also opposed redirecting unused COVID-19 relief funds to pay for an infrastructure package, as proposed by Republicans. Republicans strongly oppose a tax increase to pay for the plan.

Biden met Capito on Wednesday at the White House and on infrastructure as part of ongoing discussions between his administration and the Senate GOP.

A White House official said, “This afternoon, the president hosted Senator Capito in the Oval Office for a constructive and candid conversation about how we can drive economic growth through investments in our infrastructure and America’s economy.” May benefit the middle class. The two agreed to reunite on Friday,” a White House official said. said in a statement.

Capito’s communications director, Kelly Moore, said in a statement that during Wednesday’s meeting, “Capito and President Biden discussed the latest of several counteroffers put forward by Republicans and how they came together to reach a bipartisan agreement.” can.”

The senator’s office said she was “encouraged that talks are ongoing” and that Capito would be briefing other Senate Republicans negotiating infrastructure at the White House meeting.

The statement continued, “Senator Capito reiterates the President’s desire to work together to reach an infrastructure agreement that Congress can pass in a bipartisan manner.” “He also emphasized the progress the Senate has already made.”

Capito is leading the talks On infrastructure from Senate Republicans.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated earlier on Wednesday that the meeting with Capito was likely not a “paper exchange” but “more discussion”. She also said that “at least part” of the meeting would be face-to-face, “if not the whole meeting.”

Biden has indicated he would be ready to discuss a $1 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, senators told CNN. But even after trading counteroffers, Republicans and the White House still have differing views about the size and scope of the proposal and how it will be paid for.

The president has said he would love to have a bipartisan deal on offer, but he has also made it clear that he is not willing to sharply reduce the full scope of the plan.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg said over the weekend that There needs to be “a clear direction” Talks on infrastructure until Congress returns from recess next Monday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said Wednesday that he hopes GOP talks with the Biden administration on a massive infrastructure package will be successful and Republicans believe the key to a deal bigger. The amount is to “repurpose” the allocated funds. Boost the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This story and title have been updated with additional reporting on Wednesday.

CNN’s Ryan Nobles, Ted Barrett, Caitlan Collins, Kate Sullivan and Donald Judd contributed to this report.

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