Biden ends talks with GOP on infrastructure, turns to Plan B

President to seek votes from congressional Republicans individually

Senator Shelley Moore Capito and President Joe Biden (Getty)
Senator Shelley Moore Capito and President Joe Biden (Getty)

Following a week of fruitless negotiations with Senate Republicans to fund a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, President Joe Biden ended the talks without a deal.

The failed bargaining efforts concluded with a Tuesday call with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the lead Republican negotiator, the New York Times and other outlets reported.

Republicans had long been unwilling to support the plan, given the spending required and tax hikes needed to fund the package. It was originally to cost $2.3 trillion, but that number had been slashed in the attempt at compromise.

The inability to reach a consensus means Biden must seek votes elsewhere. Sensing an opportunity, the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members, on Tuesday drafted a proposal for $761.8 billion in spending over eight years, in addition to the $487.2 billion that Congress was already likely to enact, according Bloomberg,

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Still, money for the plan remains elusive. The group will now work on determining a series of funding measures in coordination with members of the Senate.

Under the Problem Solvers’ plan, $959 billion would be allocated for transportation, $200 billion for energy including for energy-efficient housing, and $90 billion for “asset neutral” investments, such as freight.

[NYT, Bloomberg] — Sasha Jones

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