Senate Republicans resurrected negotiations on President Joe Biden’s massive investment plan by preparing a $ 1 trillion infrastructure proposal backed by COVID-19 bailouts to the White House ahead of the deadline for Funding the Memorial Day to reach a bipartisan agreement.
Republicans said Tuesday they would release details of the new offer by Thursday, which sounded optimistic after both sides turned down other offers. Infrastructure investment talks are at a crossroads as Biden seeks a top legislative priority. The White House is currently considering whether the president can get a bipartisan deal with Republicans on his American employment plan or if he will try to do it with Democrats alone if no progress is made in the coming days.
Republicans have unanimously opposed Biden’s plan to pay for the investment by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. Instead, the GOP senators want to move unspent COVID-19 aid funds to infrastructure, which may be a non-starter for Democrats. Republicans also want to rely on gas taxes, tolls, and other charges that drivers are charged for paying for highways and other infrastructure.
Republicans said their new proposal would be in line with what they discussed with Biden almost two weeks ago at their first meeting in the Oval Office. “We are committed to reaching a bipartisan agreement,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., who heads the GOP negotiators group.
A GOP advisor, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversations, said the price would be $ 1 trillion over an eight year period, paid for using funds held in the Provided as part of COVID-19 aid, but have not yet been issued. The aide said there was around $ 700 billion left in unspent virus aid.
Publicly and privately, Republicans say that while Biden appears ready to negotiate with the Senators, his staff often change course. They point to a similar dynamic during the coronavirus relief talks when Biden appeared to be agreeing to a group of GOP senators only to have staff members shaking their heads.
Republicans are keen to make Biden’s comments public if they campaign for their new offering before the Memorial Day deadline. They are not lost among the Democrats that McConnell has repeatedly said that “100% of my focus” is on stopping Biden’s agenda.
Psaki insisted that no decisions had been made as to whether the government would go it alone as it awaits a counter offer from Republicans. “We’re not quite there yet,” she said.