On Tuesday, negotiations on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan with West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) came to a halt, with no meaningful compromise. 

After Republicans made what was described as a final offer, both sides were still around $700 billion apart.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki laid the roadblock at the feet of the GOP, saying that Biden was willing to come down more than $1 trillion, but Republicans had only increased new investments, a.k.a., spending, by $150 billion.

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New Bipartisan Group Will Take Over

Attention now turns to a bipartisan group of 20 Senators, 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

Among those in the new group include Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Rob Portman (R-OH). This group has been meeting for months to hammer out a $900 billion deal.

While the bipartisan group of Senators is working on a compromise, there is also work being done in the House as well.

Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Brian Fitzpatrick (D-PA), co-chairs of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, have proposed a whopping $760 billion plan, but gave no options on how to pay for it.

Democrats want to get the process completed before their summer break in August. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said, “We’re running out of time. We have seven weeks counting this week until we break in August … we’re running out of opportunities.”

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Can Republicans Get Rid Of Non-Infrastructure Spending?

Some Republicans argue that the original bill only contains five to seven percent of actual infrastructure – meaning roads, bridges, etc.

As Fortune magazine points out, “It’s worth remembering that while the media call the initiative an infrastructure plan, the Biden administration doesn’t. Officially, it’s the American Jobs Plan, and it consistently proposes creating or protecting jobs, especially union jobs.”

Things like $400 billion for job creation and pay raises for home care workers, $300 billion to target aid to manufacturers and small businesses, and $180 billion for public investment in technology, and research and development, including $50 billion to the National Science Foundation to establish a “technology directorate.”

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One big point of contention is, of course, how to pay for it all.

The GOP will resist tax hikes and Biden and the Democrats are undecided on whether or not to pull the trigger on budget reconciliation as a way to pass the bill. 


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