A group of bipartisan House lawmakers unveiled their framework for an infrastructure package as Democrats struggle over how to advance President Biden’s ambitions for a radical economic agenda and whether to restructure the plan to win Republican votes.
The decision of Mr. Biden to end talks with Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the Republican leader who is negotiating a package on behalf of the Republican Conference, left the prospects for a bipartisan deal unclear, although the administration encouraged lawmakers. to continue to work in this objective sense.
The so-called Problems Solvers Caucus, a group of 29 Democrats and 29 Republicans in the House, unveiled a plan for $ 761.8 billion in new spending, as part of an overall plan of $ 1.249 trillion over eight years. While the plan outlines funds for highways, roads, waterways, broadband, airports, and veteran housing, it does not address how to pay for legislation, one of the biggest obstacles that has long prevented infrastructure deals in the past.
The leaders of that caucus, representatives Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Pennsylvania, were in contact with a group of senators who quietly discussed their own picture. Those senators, led in part by Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, and Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, met for hours on Tuesday evening, but did not come up with any details on specific funding levels or a timeline for the release of a picture.
But the administration is also under pressure from the Liberal Democrats, eager to abandon the search for the 10 Republican votes needed to overcome the filibuster and instead opt for a tax package through the use of the accelerated budget reconciliation process.
“Every day wasted trying to get Republicans involved is another day when people can’t go back to work because they don’t have childcare; another day without investing in millions of good union jobs, another day when we lose further ground on the climate crisis, “said Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chairman of the House Progressive Caucus.” Further delays jeopardize momentum. and allow Republicans to block progress for the American people with no end in sight. “
Using that process, however, will be cumbersome as all 50 Senate Democrats and nearly all House Democrats will have to be united around the plan to eliminate both chambers.