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World Mitch McConnell Rips President Joe Biden Over Breakdown in Infrastructure Talks

22:31  09 june  2021
22:31  09 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ripped the Biden administration on Wednesday for cutting off infrastructure negotiations with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican who has had multiple conversations directly with President Joe Biden in recent days to try to hash out an agreement that GOP lawmakers could get behind.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a press conference following the Republicans policy luncheon in the Russell Senate Office Building on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a press conference following the Republicans policy luncheon in the Russell Senate Office Building on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC.

"[Capito]'s led several of our colleagues in literally exhaustive efforts to put a bipartisan deal within reach," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. "An agreement requires that actually each side is willing to give up some of what it wants, and as we learned yesterday, President Biden is unwilling to let go of some of the most radical promises he made to the left wing of his party."

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Republicans have homed in on Biden's decision to lump non-traditional infrastructure programs into the package—an issue McConnell again highlighted Wednesday.

"At every step of the way, Republicans have focused on targeted investments in roads, bridges, airports, waterways and broadband infrastructure the American people actually need," he said. "But yesterday President Biden showed that his patience for the smart bipartisan approach was wearing thin."

Biden announced Tuesday he was pivoting away from Capito, who had been leading his negotiations with Republicans to try to reach an agreement on what he's proposed to be a massive nearly $2 trillion infrastructure package that would go beyond roads and bridges, extending to home health care workers and child care. Biden recently has been in touch with U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, both Democrats, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, to try to forge a new path toward an infrastructure agreement.

Biden to champion democracy in first foreign trip

  Biden to champion democracy in first foreign trip Joe Biden will fight what he calls a "defining" battle for democracy on his first foreign presidential trip, meeting top US allies in Europe ahead of a tricky summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin. "This is a defining question of our time," Biden wrote in The Washington Post ahead of his trip. "Will the democratic alliances and institutions that shaped so much of the last century prove their capacity against modern-day threats and adversaries? I believe the answer is yes. And this week in Europe, we have the chance to prove it.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Tuesday the package Capito was advocating "did not, in [Biden's] view, meet the essential needs of our country."

"[Biden] offered his gratitude to her for her efforts and good faith conversations, but expressed his disappointment that, while he was willing to reduce his plan by more than $1 trillion, the Republican group had increased their proposed new investments by only $150 billion," she said.

Biden has since pivoted to courting moderate Democrats and Republicans to try to build support for his broader plan.

The White House didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

Biden has advocated the large infrastructure investment as an economic stimulus that would touch on other priorities, including environmental and family concerns as the nation recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Capito, meanwhile, said in a statement the breakdown ultimately centered on taxes and who would pay for the programs Biden hoped to create.

"In our discussions with the president he himself made it clear that he was willing to accept an offer around $1 trillion, that baseline spending would and could be included, and that a plan could stretch over an eight-year period of time," she said. "Despite the progress we made in our negotiations, the president continued to respond with offers that included tax increases as his pay-for, instead of practical options that would have not been harmful to individuals, families and small businesses."

Biden has struggled to build consensus around his most divisive priorities in the U.S. Senate, where the Democratic Party's control is razor-thin with a 50-50 split. Bills in the Senate, under current rules, require 60 votes for passage, and conservative Democrats led by Manchin, of West Virginia, have opposed changes to the filibuster rule that would carve an easier path for Democratic priorities with only a majority vote needed.

Joe and Jill arrive arm-in-arm for Royal reception with the Queen

  Joe and Jill arrive arm-in-arm for Royal reception with the Queen President Joe Biden and Jill Biden joined The Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family for a posh party Friday night for the leaders of the G7. The first couple arrived arm-in-arm; the president in a dark suit and stripped tie with the first lady wearing a trench coat over a dark dress. The bold-named reception, hosted by the 95-year-old monarch, was held in Eden Project, a lush, domed eco-tourism site built in a former quarry pit. It features several giant domes housing what the project's website calls 'the largest rainforest in captivity.'The Bidens spoke to The Queen in a reception line.

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Joe Manchin Meets With Texas Dems on Voting Rights Legislation .
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin met with a group of Texas Democrats Thursday evening who blocked a state law there that would put new restrictions on early voting. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill June 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. A Manchin spokesperson told Newsweek the senator met privately with Texas state Senators Royce West and José Menendéz; and Texas state Representatives Chris Turner; Nicole Collier, who is the chairwoman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus; and Jessica Gonzalez, the vice chairwoman of the Texas House Elections Committee.

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