Joe Biden’s offer to make a deal with Senate Republicans on a sweep infrastructure spending package it erupted Tuesday, restricting the options of the president of the United States as he tries to shift his economic agenda through Congress.
Biden had spent the last few weeks immersed in negotiations with Shelley Moore Capito, the Republican senator from West Virginia, to falsify a bipartisan compromise, but the couple canceled discussions after failing to reach an agreement.
The breakdown in infrastructure negotiations highlights BidenThe struggle to move forward with its ambitious national legislative agenda beyond the $ 1.9 million stimulus plan passed in March, in a deeply polarized political environment with strong Republican opposition.
Biden’s $ 2.3 billion infrastructure package – with a separate $ 1.8 billion social spending plan – is central to its hopes of reshaping the U.S. post-pandemic economy by giving way. the government plays a major role in funding public goods ranging from roads to broadband, subsidies for childcare and pre-school education.
The White House is Republicans they were divided on the size and nature of infrastructure investments, as well as how the plan can be paid for without adjusting to U.S. budget deficits. Biden had abruptly lowered his spending goal and abandoned his push for one increase in business income tax rate, but Republicans rejected those offers and made counter-proposals that the White House found inadequate.
“[Biden] offers his gratitude to [Capito] for their efforts and good faith conversations, but expressed disappointment that while willing to reduce its plan by more than $ 1 a ton, the Republican group had increased its proposed new investments by just $ 150 billion. dollars, ”Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said in a statement on the breakdown of negotiations.
Capito said: “While I appreciate President Biden’s willingness to devote so much time and effort to these negotiations, he has finally chosen not to accept the very robust and targeted infrastructure package, and instead to end our discussions.”
The failure of talks between Biden and Capito sets the stage for a new round of talks between Biden and a bipartisan group of eight moderate senators, including Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat. Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican, and Bill Cassidy, the Louisiana Republican.
The president and lawmakers are trying to forge a successful compromise in the coming weeks.
Psaki said Biden would be “in contact” with the group by phone while traveling in Europe next week and that he had asked for help including Steve Richetti, Louisa Terrell and Brian Deese to handle the negotiations.
Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill earlier Tuesday that his group of lawmakers were “closed where we are” before taking a “solidified” proposal to the larger group of 20 senators.
If these discussions were to collapse as well, Biden’s only option would be to try to pass his infrastructure spending bill with purely democratic votes, but this would be a daunting task keeping his party’s excessively narrow margins in both chambers. of Congress.
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