Politics Bipartisan Senate group strike early $1.2 trillion infrastructure agreement as Democrats grow impatient

02:55  11 june  2021
02:55  11 june  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

Where do infrastructure talks go from here now that Biden's negotiations with Republicans collapsed?

  Where do infrastructure talks go from here now that Biden's negotiations with Republicans collapsed? As new infrastructure talks begin, old differences with Republicans have already emerged.Weeks of negotiations resulted in little headway, with major differences on costs and taxes going unreconciled. Republicans accused the president of changing his demands and being unwilling to compromise on his insistence on "social infrastructure" while the White House said the Republicans' offers didn't meet America's needs.

A bipartisan group of 10 senators has agreed to pitch a $ 1 . 2 trillion eight-year infrastructure spending package to President Joe Biden, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. The proposal, backed by Republicans including Mitt Romney and Democrats including Joe Manchin, calls for 9 billion in net new spending beyond outlays that Congress was already expected to enact, according to the person. That is still well below the .7 trillion Biden had proposed in his direct talks with a Republican group of senators led by Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

A group of 10 Democratic and Republican senators are nearing an agreement on infrastructure . They will still need to win enough support within both parties and the White House to get a plan through Congress. The proposal likely would not raise taxes, but it is unclear how much it would cost. Senators from both parties have inched closer to an infrastructure deal they hope to sell as a plan that can get through Congress with bipartisan support. A group of 10 Democrats and Republicans has a "tentative understanding" on a proposal to upgrade U.S. transportation, broadband and water systems

Joe Manchin, Mitt Romney, Jeanne Shaheen, Susan Collins posing for the camera: Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) take a break from a meeting on infrastructure. Alex Wong/Getty Images © Alex Wong/Getty Images Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) take a break from a meeting on infrastructure. Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • A group of 10 senators announced they struck an early infrastructure deal on Thursday.
  • The package will not include tax hikes, and only a fraction of it is new spending.
  • It is unclear whether the White House will support the measure.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A bipartisan group of senators announced on Thursday evening that they had struck an early infrastructure deal, though it faces major political hurdles.

After crafting $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal, bipartisan group of senators start lobbying White House, colleagues

  After crafting $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal, bipartisan group of senators start lobbying White House, colleagues The deal would not raise the corporate tax rate, which Biden had proposed. And it wouldn't hike the 18.4-cent federal per-gallon gas tax.The deal, reported by several media outlets and confirmed by a Senate source familiar with the deal, would focus on traditional transportation programs such as rail, bridges and waterways. It would not include "soft" infrastructure such as climate change and housing, which Biden had called for in his original $2.25 trillion American Jobs Act.

Liberal Senate Democrats are unloading on a bipartisan group of senators working on an infrastructure deal, warning that any pared-back measure to win GOP backing almost certainly would fail to deliver on their party's promises and could lead to a revolt from the left.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate unveiled a 8 billion stimulus proposal Tuesday in an effort to break a months-long impasse that’s now threatening to tip the economy back into contraction. Neither Republican nor Democratic leaders have signed on to the plan so far, however Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday morning, McConnell made no mention of the new bipartisan push for relief, continuing to blame Democrats for seeking a package that is unrealistic and too costly. South Dakota Senator John Thune, a member of McConnell’s leadership team, indicated

The faction includes Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rob Portman of Ohio, as well as Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Jon Tester of Montana. The group sprung up as President Joe Biden's negotiations with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, steadily collapsed.

"Our group - comprised of 10 Senators, 5 from each party - has worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation's infrastructure and energy technologies," the group said in a joint statement. "This investment would be fully paid for and not include tax increases."

They added that they were "optimistic" they could lay the groundwork to attract major support.

After 1st round fails, where do infrastructure talks stand?

  After 1st round fails, where do infrastructure talks stand? Almost as soon as infrastructure talks died, they were resurrected under new leadership. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images While President Joe Biden jets off to Europe to attend to international matters, a coalition of Senate Democrats and Republicans are huddled up at the Capitol charting what they hope will be a new path forward on infrastructure. New negotiations bring a whole new host of questions about how a deal on what has become a politically divisive package might be struck and what that deal might look like. Wait. Aren't infrastructure talks over? Think again.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday that he intends to take up a billion water resources bill as an initial test of Republican willingness to work with Democrats on Biden's sweeping infrastructure proposal. "It will authorize tens of billions of dollars to make sure American families, especially low-income families, have access to safe and clean drinking water," he said. Schumer announced the move amid growing bipartisan talks in the Senate and at the White House about how to advance infrastructure legislation that can create jobs and stimulate the economy as it

Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the talks "seem to be running into a brick wall." Capito had a five-minute call with the Democratic president on Tuesday, a Capito spokesperson said. Republicans have been talking about a far more modest package of less than $ 1 trillion , with much of the money coming from initiatives already enacted into law, such as COVID-19 relief. A bipartisan group of senators met on Tuesday to discuss the next steps on infrastructure .

A Republican aide confirmed to Insider that the deal was focused on core infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and broadband. It will encompass $1.2 trillion in spending over an eight-year period and only $579 billion in fresh spending beyond what Congress has already approved.

It also includes a gas tax indexed to inflation, which had been floated by Sen. Mitt Romney earlier in the day. That's projected to raise between $30 billion and $35 billion over ten years, per Seth Hanlon, a tax expert at the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

But the early outlines of the deal faced a steep climb to secure votes in both parties, and it is unclear whether the White House will support it. Democrats are likely to balk at the omission of tax hikes on large firms and wealthy earners, while Republicans are likely to heap criticism onto the scale of new spending.

Congressional Democrats in both the House and Senate are already setting the stage to use reconciliation, a tactic to approve some bills with only a simple majority. Some were starting to lose patience with the crawling pace of the discussions with Republicans.

On The Money: Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal, warn of time crunch

  On The Money: Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal, warn of time crunch Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're getting FOMO from Mike Pence's gorgeous new house. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

Senate Republicans revived negotiations over President Joe Biden’s sweeping investment plan, preparing a $ 1 trillion infrastructure proposal that would be funded with COVID-19 relief money as a counteroffer to the White House ahead of a Memorial Day deadline toward a bipartisan deal. Instead, the GOP senators want to shift unspent COVID-19 relief funds to infrastructure , which may be a nonstarter for Democrats . Republicans also want to rely on gas taxes, tolls and other fees charged to drivers to pay for the highways and other infrastructure .

Republican and Democratic senators said Thursday they were open to considering the first change in the national gasoline tax since 1993 to help fund a bipartisan infrastructure spending package they plan to propose to President Joe Biden. Disagreement over how to pay for the biggest infrastructure bill in decades contributed to the breakdown in Biden’s direct talks with GOP senators led by Shelley Moore Capito earlier this week. The Focus of bipartisan negotiations has now shifted to the group including Romney, though some Democrats are eager to get moving on a go-it-alone strategy.

"I don't understand why these [Democrats] want to give away the store when there are only five Republican votes to gain," one Democratic aide, granted anonymity to speak candidly, told Insider. "That's a completely useless number of votes."

The package may also omit a significant chunk of climate priorities sought by many Democrats, imperiling its odds of passage. Biden's two-part economic package includes an array of measures like support to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations, research in clean energy, and funds to retrofit homes.

Several Senate Democrats, including Ron Wyden of Oregon, chair of Senate Finance Committee, are threatening to withhold their support from a bipartisan deal if it doesn't sufficiently combat climate change. "On a big infrastructure bill, to pass on climate altogether? No way," Wyden told Insider. "Think I'm blunt enough? No way."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Go green or go bipartisan? Biden's big infrastructure choice .
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s hopes of channeling billions of dollars into green infrastructure investments to fight climate change are running into the political obstacle of winning over Republican lawmakers who oppose that approach as unnecessary, excessive spending. As negotiations unfold in Congress in search of a bipartisan deal, the White House's ability to ensure a climate focus in Biden's sweeping infrastructure package is becoming daunting — so much so that key Democrats are warning the administration to quit negotiating with Republicans, calling it a waste of time that will produce no viable compromise.

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