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President Biden on Tuesday rejected the latest proposal for an infrastructure deal from Republicans in the Senate, moving the debate on one of the president’s top domestic priorities to a new phase.
Biden put the kibbutz ongoing talks after informing Senator Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., that “the latest proposal from her group, in his opinion, does not meet the basic needs of our country to rebuild our roads and bridges, prepare us for our future for clean energy and job creation, “White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
“He thanked her for her efforts and good faith talks,” Psaki added, “but expressed disappointment that while he was ready to cut his plan by more than $ 1 trillion, the Republican group had increased the proposed new investment by just $ 150 billion. “
Capito confirmed separately in a statement that Biden had concluded talks with her.
Capito said a group of GOP senators had offered a $ 1 trillion package that the president was ready to accept, but that the question of how to pay for the compromise proposal was not something the two sides could agree on.
“In our discussions with the president, he himself made it clear that he was ready to accept an offer of about $ 1 trillion, that basic costs would be included and could be included, and that the plan could extend for an 8-year period. time, “the captain said in a written statement. “The president also understood one of our red lines that does not repeal the 2017 Tax Relief and Jobs Act, which has helped so many Americans. Our latest proposal, along with the legislation the Senate expects to pass today, would go beyond presidential threshold. “(Later Tuesday, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill to boost U.S. research and competitiveness.)
Democrats and Republicans have failed to agree on how to pay for the infrastructure package. Democrats proposed raising the corporate tax rate, but Republicans, who led tax cuts for the richest Americans, refused. They want to pay for the package through user fees. The White House rejected the idea, insisting it was a tax on Americans making less than $ 400,000, the income that would start raising Biden’s tax.
Capito said: “Despite the progress we have made in our negotiations, the president has continued to respond with offers that include tax increases as his pay, instead of several practical options that would not be harmful to people, families and small businesses.
“Although I appreciate President Biden’s willingness to devote so much time and effort to these negotiations, he ultimately decided not to adopt a very stable and focused infrastructure package and instead to end our discussions.”
There is also a bipartisan group of senators working to try to draw up a separate measure and see if it is possible to create something that can get 60 votes.
In a statement, Psaki said Biden spoke Tuesday with other lawmakers involved in the bipartisan talks, including Kirsten Cinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, both Democrats, and Republican Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
Biden called on Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of California, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., regarding his budget and infrastructure priorities.
Separately, Sumer told reporters Tuesday that Democrats will work on a separate track and begin drafting an infrastructure plan that will move forward through reconciliation and can only pass with Democrat votes.
It is not clear what proposal can unite all Senate Democrats.
NPR Congress Editor Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.