He informed Senator Capito today that he believes the latest offer from her faction did not meet our country’s essential needs to repair our roads and bridges, prepare for our future with clean energy and create jobs. the White House press secretary said. Jen Psaki said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
He thanked her for her efforts and good faith talks, but expressed disappointment that while he was willing to cut his plan by more than $1 trillion, the Republican group had increased their proposed new investment by only $150 billion. she added.
On Capitol Hill, Capito told ABC News, “We had a robust package that we could have made work and I think I could have gotten 20-25 Republicans to come with me.”
“They moved the goalposts to me a few times and they just decided to walk away,” she added.
When asked what’s next, she said, “You’ll have to ask him.”
The back and forth over infrastructure has been going on for weeks now, with top-line numbers for both sides gradually converging. The significant cost difference between the two parties was due in part to fundamental disagreements over the scope of the bill. Republicans have argued that things like childcare, home care, job training and other “human infrastructure” elements of the White House package have no place in an infrastructure law.
A government official said that with the White House move on from negotiations with Republicans, the president will now focus on entering into dialogue with a bipartisan group of senators to strike a deal on infrastructure — a group he would like to welcome Capito to.
That engagement has already begun — Psaki said Biden spoke with Sens on Tuesday. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Joe Manchin DW.Va.
“He urged them to continue their work with other Democrats and Republicans to develop a bipartisan proposal that he hopes would better address the country’s pressing infrastructure needs,” Psaki said.
With talks between Biden and Capito sidelined, the Hill’s attention has turned to that bipartisan group that gathers behind the scenes to make a plan for several weeks.
Sinema leads that group, along with Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio. Sources told ABC News that their coalition is working on a proposal with a price tag of about $900 billion and that the group plans to share its framework with 20 other center-oriented senators.
A group of at least 10 moderates met Tuesday night to discuss a potential deal.
Portman and Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who is also involved in the talks, each described their negotiations waiting backstage until Capito signaled that her effort was over.
Majority leader Chuck Schumer appeared optimistic during a news conference on Tuesday that the two-party negotiations could yield a result, but the senator was clear that the package being drafted behind the scenes isn’t the only thing Democrats, especially the White House and progressives, want to do on the infrastructure front.
Biden has proposed sweeping legislation including funding for childcare, aged care, new schools and electric vehicles that Republicans view as far beyond what is traditionally considered infrastructure. Originally, Biden’s proposals were worth about $4 trillion.
Schumer said Tuesday he plans to use an accelerated budgetary procedure known as reconciliation to push through all remaining Democratic infrastructure priorities with just 50 Democratic votes, if a bipartisan deal is reached.
“That won’t be the only answer,” Schumer said of Sinema-Portman’s effort. “We all know that as a caucus, we won’t be able to do all the things that the country needs in a completely two-pronged – in a two-pronged way, and so we’re pushing for reconciliation at the same time. It’s quite possible that some of the bill that passes will be bipartisan and some through reconciliation, but we’re not going to sacrifice the grandeur and audacity in this bill.”
Biden is preparing to leave on Wednesday for his first foreign trip as president. Psaki said he would stay in touch with members of the bipartisan group working on a deal while traveling in Europe, and instructed members of his Jobs Cabinet and White House aides Steve Ricchetti, Louisa Terrell and Brian Deese to meet them personally. to meet to move. the ball forward.