The White House counteroffer – from $ 2.25 trillion to $ 1.7 trillion – should show that the government remains committed to reaching a deal with Republicans even as the Liberal Democrats urge Biden to go forward alone Afraid he might also give up a lot during negotiations.
“This is the art of looking for common ground,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the press conference on Friday. However, she made it clear that the government was unwilling to back off its redlines to fund the bill, a point officials reiterated when they got out of the meeting.
Senate Republicans, however, did not leave Friday’s call optimistic about the fate of bipartisan discussions. A spokesman for Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.), the chief negotiator, waved the White House counteroffer, calling it “well beyond the realm of what Congress can do with bilateral support,” noting that at Many “big differences” issues remain, including the definition of infrastructure, price, and payment.
“Based on today’s meeting, the groups appear further apart after two meetings with White House staff than they did after meeting President Biden,” said Capito’s office.
The problems of the GOP with the counter offer were found in the small print. Rather than just cutting overall costs, Biden suggested shifting spending on research and development, small business, supply chains, and manufacturing to other proposals, including the Endless Frontier Act and the CHIPS Act. The President’s allies note that Republicans themselves are relying on accounting maneuvers to add to the total in their final proposal far higher than it really is, makes the big gap even bigger.
Biden’s new infrastructure proposal would also cut broadband spending to match the latest Republican offering and reduce investment in “roads, bridges and major projects” to get closer to the Republicans’ bottom line – a point one made in the talks Administrative officer involved characterized as ironic, given the GOP’s insistence, that the package is heavily focused on improving the “core” infrastructure – but a concession nonetheless.
Administration officials stressed Biden’s original proposal was justified to meet the country’s growing needs after previous presidents promised to tackle infrastructure (including President Donald Trump and his infamous infrastructure weeks) so as not to pass the bills.
The Biden White House said their adjustments were made in good faith and in the interest of finding common ground. Officials said it was now up to Republicans to come back with their own proposals to bring the two sides closer together.
The current stalemate is likely only to heighten calls by the Liberal Democrats to get rid of the Republicans and instead seek a reconciliation that would allow Senate Democrats to pull through the package without GOP support. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), The Senate’s most conservative Democrat, has pushed for bipartisan negotiations, but it is not yet clear whether failed talks with Republicans will be enough to convince him to move forward on party politics.
“I’ve used that phrase before in the infrastructure and bipartisan effort: the moment of fish or cut bait,” Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) Said this week. “I don’t know when that is exactly, but I think there is a real danger for us in shedding the fish or cutting the bait date.”
The Republicans of the White House and Senate met earlier this week. However, Tuesday’s meeting brought little progress as the parties still struggled to reach consensus on the definition of infrastructure. Biden had set a “progress” goal on a major infrastructure package by Memorial Day – a date that is rapidly approaching.
The White House insists on moving a deal forward after that date if they still believe Capito is operating in good faith. But so far, the two sides remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart and far from agreeing on how to fund the investment. Biden is pushing to raise the corporate tax rate to pay the package, a non-runner for Senate Republicans who have instead proposed usage fees that the White House says would violate Biden’s promise not to levy taxes on anyone less than Earn $ 400,000.
In a memo of their counteroffer, White House officials noted “concern” that the Republican proposal missed investment in areas such as environmental rehabilitation, veterans hospitals and construction, and labor development and training. Psaki said the Republican offer had room for improvement.
“The counteroffer also reflects our view that the Republicans offer some proposals that are vital to our competitiveness, investments in clean energy and future industries, and rebuilding our workforce, including critical investments in our energy sector, Buildings and buildings, completely excluding construction, labor training, veterans hospital construction and the care industry, “said Psaki.
The counteroffer by the Biden government urged more funds for so-called “critical transport infrastructure” such as rail, indicating China’s investment in “such projects”. It has also suggested eliminating lead pipes and funding resilience projects in the face of the threats posed by climate change. But Psaki and others added that details are still to be negotiated.
“I’m not a mathematician, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. But obviously we proposed a package that is $ 500 billion cheaper and therefore has to be paid for less. But what that looks like has to be part of the negotiation,” she said.