Infrastructure Talks Reach Tipping Point

Now that the soft deadline of Memorial Day has passed, President Biden and his team have decided to give the effort of trying to achieve bipartisanship one more week with the hopes of somehow coming to a compromise. If no compromise was achieved after this make-or-break week, Democrats would have to try to go it alone to push the infrastructure plan through Congress as they did the American Relief Plan, according to Jim Tankersley at the New York Times.

For the past few weeks, President Biden has held numerous meetings with GOP leaders in an effort to achieve bipartisan support for the plan; however, since announcing his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan called the American Jobs Plan, Republicans have fought against his expanded definition of infrastructure.

In addition, Republicans in Congress disagree with his methods of funding said improvements. According Tankersley, “Biden has proposed tax increases on corporations to fund his jobs plan, which Republicans say are a nonstarter. Some Republicans and business leaders have been surprised by Mr. Biden’s refusal to consider their proposed alternative: raising the gas tax, or other fees assessed on people who use improved infrastructure. Mr. Biden has said he considers such increases a violation of his pledge not to raise taxes on people earning less than $400,000 a year.”

Regardless of their differences, the meetings between the two parties has produced some progress. Republicans have unveiled some counter proposals, the first coming out to $568 billion and the revised plan coming out to just under $1 trillion at $928 billion. In response, President Biden has also proposed a reduced plan, lowering the amount from $2.3 trillion to $1.7 trillion.

According to Morgan Chalfant and Alex Gangitano at The Hill, Biden will meet with Senator Shelley Moore Capito on Wednesday to see if any progress can be made in this “critical and potentially final week.”

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