President Biden on Thursday was set to meet with a bipartisan group of senators pushing a compromise infrastructure plan worth nearly $1 trillion, raising hopes for a breakthrough on of his top priorities.
Biden will meet at the White House in the morning with leaders of the group of 21 senators about the pared-down plan, which they say is worth $953 billion, including $559 billion in new spending.
The bill has some measure of rare bipartisan backing but the group has not ironed out a way to pay for it amid deep differences over possible tax hikes.
The White House and Democratic leaders cast the bipartisan proposal as a positive development. Biden’s top aides had met with senators for back-to-back meetings on Capitol Hill and later huddled with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“We’re very excited about the prospect of a bipartisan agreement,” Pelosi said Wednesday night.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden had called for the meeting at the White House and that the group had made progress “towards an outline of a potential agreement.”
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said it was time for the group to reach out to other senators for support.
“In good faith, we tried to get there. We didn’t agree on everything, but we were able to get there,” Portman told reporters on Capitol Hill as he left a Wednesday evening meeting with the other senators and the White House team.
Biden has sought $1.7 trillion for his American Jobs Plan, part of nearly $4 trillion in broad infrastructure spending on roads, bridges and broadband internet, as well as child care centers, hospitals and elder care.
If they win support for a smaller plan, Democrats may push ahead to pass an additional plan, although the GOP would likely seek to block that.
Republicans are solidly opposed to Biden’s proposed corporate tax hike and moves to increase income taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Biden has rejected a gas tax hike or any other tax increases on people making less than $400,000 a year.
Department of International Relations and European Studies https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-international-relations-and-european-studies/