Biden Administration Extends Bipartisan Infrastructure Talks Into June

The Obama Administration and congressional Republicans have been in negotiations for months on a long-term transportation bill. But after today, both sides say they’re open to working on a short-term spending bill. ~

The president has made a point of pushing a tax reform package that would give that country a temporary fiscal boost, and is hoping to use it as his first major legislative win prior to his reelection. But the negotiations have hit a snag as congressional Republicans seek to extend their talks into June, when they hope to reach an agreement on a plan that would lift the nation’s debt ceiling.

word-image-18955 The Biden administration said Sunday that negotiations on the $1.7 trillion infrastructure package should provide a clear direction toward an agreement when Congress returns from recess in early June, suggesting that Democrats may be preparing to move forward alone with a sweeping plan to rebuild roads and bridges, expand broadband and create care programs for older and disabled Americans. Minister of Transport Pete Buttigieg. said Biden and members of his team will continue the talks in private this week, and said the talks with Republican lawmakers have been encouraging. However, he called for the return of Congress on the 7th. June was considered the starting point of the negotiations. I think we’re approaching a time when you have to choose between the fish and the bait, Buttigieg said during an appearance on CNN’s State of Union. Negotiations on the measure dragged on for weeks as lawmakers and the White House wrangled over fundamental issues: What should it contain, how big should it be and how should it be paid for. The stumbling block is financing the project. Republicans want to use at least two sources to fund the road and bridge overhaul: reused and unspent funds from the $1.9 trillion debt relief bill passed earlier this year and fees on electric vehicles. The Biden administration has proposed funding the measure by raising corporate taxes, including an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, a plan to which Republicans have expressed strong objections.

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Summaries, analysis and opinions from the WSJ Washington bureau. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R., W.Va.), one of the Senate’s chief negotiators for the Republicans’ $928 billion infrastructure proposal, said he hopes to reach an agreement between the two parties in the coming weeks. I understand there’s a deadline … but it won’t be because we didn’t try, Capito said on Fox News Sunday. It’s worth it. It is worth showing this country that we can work together, that we can reach a compromise for the common good. But Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) said on CNN that waiting for Republicans to get it right is not the way to go. I would have continued without the votes of the members. Biden stated his commitment to reaching an agreement and set a Memorial Day deadline for progress in negotiations. Buttigieg’s new proposed deadline – next week – suggests that Democrats are closer to abandoning negotiations and passing an infrastructure plan via a legislative maneuver called reconciliation. The Democrats have a narrow 50-50 majority in the Senate, with vice president Kamala Harris. deciding votes. Last week, Republicans rejected the White House’s $1.7 trillion proposal, less than the Biden administration’s original $2.3 trillion plan, arguing that the White House had not made its proposal narrowly enough. The Republicans’ revised $928 billion counterproposal includes only about $257 billion in new spending, which worries Democrats. The White House said the $1.7 trillion total in its plan is higher than current base spending levels for infrastructure projects, although Congress must set new base spending levels before the end of this fiscal year. On ABC News This Week, Buttigieg reiterated the White House’s warning that doing nothing is not an option. And we’re facing some serious time constraints as we prepare for the week after this when Congress resumes. The Transportation Secretary praised some elements of the Republican counterproposal, but said it lacked elements related to the climate impact of transportation and infrastructure for veterans hospitals. Capito said Biden remains optimistic and told her so in a phone call last week: Let’s go. She added: His heart is there. We’ve had some disagreements with the staff, but we’ll work it out. -Warren P. Strobel contributed to this article.

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