On Friday, President Joe Biden said that the new infrastructure offer by the Republicans did not meet his policy goals. There have been back and forth negotiations with the President offering leeway to the GOP to secure bipartisan support. However, the GOP is not raising its counteroffer to an amount that could be acceptable to the White House.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary said that the President felt that the offer from the GOP did not meet his objectives. Senate Republican Capito’s new offer had an increase of $50 billion, when compared with the earlier GOP offer.
Ahead of the Friday meeting, a GOP source told CNN that there were not GOP votes for what President Biden had put on the table and that the White House was aware about that situation. However, negotiations are still on and Biden and Capito are expected to speak again on Monday.
Both have been in touch often, right from when Biden proposed his initial plan and the Republicans shot it down and came up with a low-ball counteroffer. Negotiations have been on since then but there has been no bipartisan agreement yet.
Some Democrats are getting tired of waiting while some Republicans refuse to budge from their conservative estimates. These Democrats want to push the proposal forward so that it will have an impact on the 2022 midterms as well as long term goals.
However, the Republicans are looking at the midterms in a way that is almost diametrically opposite to that of the Democrats. They do not wish for taxes to be raised. Raising taxes would be an essential requirement if trillions of dollars have to be spent on infrastructure.
Sources familiar with the negotiations say that a group of bipartisan senators will work on the infrastructure proposal and could unveil it sometime next week. The group includes the following senators:
- Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana)
- Susan Collins (R-Maine)
- Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
- Mitt Romney (R-Utah)
- Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia)
- Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire)
- Krysten Sinema (D-Arizona)
- Jon Tester (D-Montana)
A positive outcome from these negotiations will be essential as time is passing and bipartisanship may no longer be the final goal of the bill. President Biden and the Democrats have indicated that there will be a time limit beyond which the bipartisan effort would no longer be of utmost importance and passing the bill through other methods would take center stage.