A bipartisan group of U.S. senators said Thursday they have reached an agreement on a framework for a massive plan for proposed infrastructure spending without major taxes.
In a statement, the group of five Republicans and five Democrats said they were discussing their approach with their colleagues and the Biden White House, and were optimistic about gaining broad support.
“Our group … has worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic and compromising framework to modernize our nation’s energy infrastructure and technologies,” said Democrat-led group Kyrsten Movies and Republican Rob Portman.
“This investment would be paid for in full and would not include the tax increase,” they said.
The statement did not give any details of the deal and Democratic critics of the nascent deal were fired when senators rushed to leave Washington for the weekend.
An infrastructure bill that does not give priority to the climate crisis will not pass the House. Period.
– Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) June 10, 2021
A person familiar with the deal told Reuters news agency that it would cost $ 974 billion over five years and $ 1.2 trillion over eight years and include $ 579 billion in new expenses.
Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, said he was open to considering the bipartisan proposal, but wanted to see it in writing – and added that he could also push for a follow-up spending measure with only support. democratic.
“They told me verbally, stuff; I asked for paper, I’ll see it, ”Schumer said. “But we continue to proceed on two tracks. A bipartisan track and a reconciliation track, and both are moving forward.”
President Joe Biden promoted it a sweeping $ 1.7 trillion package to renovate roads and bridges and address other issues such as education and home health care.
Republicans have rejected the president’s infrastructure plan, which will deal with climate change, build some social programs and pay for himself by raising taxes on American corporations.
Infrastructure and climate are inseparable. Every decision on one is a decision on the other.
– Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) June 10, 2021
Biden offered ladder back his proposals but met with a comeback this week when Senator Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, insisted that any infrastructure plan have bipartisan support and Biden refused. a smaller proposal presented by Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito.
This left room for the group of 10 moderate senators from both parties to present a new idea designed to generate enough support to go through the Senate with the 60 votes needed for most of the bills. The Senate is split 50-50 between the two parties.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell also told the group he was open to his ideas, Republicans say.
In addition to Sinema and Portman, the negotiating group of 10 senators includes Democrats Joe Manchin, Jeanne Shaheen, Jon Tester and Mark Warner, along with Republicans Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney.
Manchin told reporters that “things are going in the right direction.”
Romney said there was also a “general agreement” on a front-line spending figure but it was not specifically established.
He did not specify the number, but told reporters that the planned package will be paid, in part, by indexing the federal tax on gasoline to inflation.
He and Tester also talked about a provision that could raise revenues by having the Internal Revenue Service go after tax scams.
At the same time, transportation bills related to infrastructure have advanced to the level of the Congressional committee.
With Biden in Europe, Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director, said administration officials have been encouraged by bipartisan negotiations both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
“We’re seeing progress on several fronts right now,” he told CNN.
“That’s how a bill becomes a law. It’s a multi-stage process, and we are encouraged by all the progress that is happening on these different paths simultaneously. ”
But the bipartisan push has come under fire from some Democrats who have criticized a Republican approach that restricts attention to physical infrastructure and excludes tax increases for corporations and the rich.
Breakout: Senate President Finance Ron Ron tells me that bipartisan negotiations have produced nothing acceptable to Democrats and it’s time to make an infrastructure bill in reconciliation.
– Lawrence O’Donnell (@Lawrence) June 10, 2021