President Joe Biden barely budged Friday in offering a new $1.7 trillion infrastructure deal to Republicans.
The White House’s second offer is only $600 billion less than the first and far from the Senate Republicans’ $568 billion plan.
“In our view, this is the art of seeking common ground,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
The Wall Street Journal reported Psaki also said, “the counteroffer shifts funding for research and development, supply chains, manufacturing and small business to other proposed legislation that is being considered by Congress.”
the Journal explained.
The new plan also lowers Biden’s request for funding for broadband internet, as well as his proposed funding for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects. Ms. Psaki said those numbers will more closely align with Senate Republicans’ requests.
There appears to be no budging from the White House on raising taxes, however. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy firmly have said they are not interested in altering the 2017 tax cuts, which the plan presumably still maintains.
The Washington Post reported Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) conversed with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo “earlier that day and his group — which includes centrist and deal-minded members of both parties — will meet Monday evening to discuss the proposal further.”
I think we have a reasonable proposal,” Romney said. “We’ll see if we can get support for it.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth on CNN Friday afternoon said she is “willing” to work with her “colleagues across the aisle to try to get some sort of an infrastructure plan out the door.” She added, “The economy needs it.”
But Biden’s compromise is sure to anger many Democrats.
“It’s not $800 billion compared to $2.3 billion,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) about the first plan. “I think we should move forward with our bill.”
When Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was asked if she supports bipartisanship on the legislation, she replied, “Absolutely not. Because we might lose our coalition for human infrastructure.”
“I do not think that the White House should relegate recovery to the judgment of Mitch McConnell because he will not function in good faith,” said Gillibrand, who believes bipartisanship is “a terrible political misstep.”
Fifty-nine far-left House Democrat members have sung a similar tune by sending a letter to both Senate and House leadership, stating, “While bipartisan support is welcome, the pursuit of Republican votes cannot come at the expense of limiting the scope of popular investments.”