White House to Hold Meetings on Bipartisan Infrastructure Proposal
This week, President Biden will host meetings with members of Congress as a bipartisan infrastructure proposal faces a make-or-break week in Washington. The president’s talks this week could mark a final push to find a compromise before Democrats move to pass a multi-trillion, partisan infrastructure plan. While talks are being held, Democrats have also started the process of drafting a budget resolution that would allow them to pass partisan legislation through the budget reconciliation process. A bipartisan deal will likely depend on whether President Biden and Republicans can strike a funding compromise, and on what Democratic leaders promise skeptical progressives they can pass as part of a separate bill under reconciliation in a potential two-pronged approach to enacting their infrastructure priorities this year. On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.) encouraged President Biden to support the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, stating “President Biden, if you want an infrastructure deal of a trillion dollars, it’s there for the taking, you just need to get involved and lead.”
Last week, a bipartisan group comprised of 11 Republican U.S. Senators Richard Burr (N.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Todd Young (Ind.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.), and ten Democratic and Independent Senators Chris Coons (Del.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), John Hickenlooper (Colo.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Angus King (Maine), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.), announced their support for a bipartisan infrastructure plan, stating: “We support this bipartisan framework that provides an historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure needs without raising taxes,” the senators said. “We look forward to working with our Republican and Democratic colleagues to develop legislation based on this framework to address America’s critical infrastructure challenges.” With 11 Republicans supporting the proposal, it could overcome the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate if Senate Majority Leader Schumer were to put the final product on the Senate floor for a vote.
The framework is reported to provide $579 billion in new spending and $1.2 billion total over the next 8 years to address the nation’s critical infrastructure needs. The plan would be paid for in part by unspent COVID relief funds, public-private partnerships, and infrastructure revolving funds, avoiding significant tax increases that the White House and Democrats in Congress have proposed through rolling back portions of Republican’s signature tax law from 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.