Are Senate Republicans trying to ‘drive a wedge’ between Biden and his staff during infrastructure negotiations?

Are Senate Republicans trying to ‘drive a wedge’ between Biden and his staff during infrastructure negotiations?

22 May    Finance News

The Week

Biden infrastructure compromise elicits cold reception from GOP negotiators

The Biden administration has cut its proposed infrastructure plan from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion in a gesture of compromise between the White House and congressional Republicans, Politico reported Friday. While negotiations are not yet over — even with a Memorial Day deadline for “progress” looming — the administration’s counteroffer “was a sign [it] remains eager to craft a deal,” per Politico. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “This is the art of seeking common ground.” Jen Psaki says the White House countered the infrastructure proposal from Republicans with a $1.7 trillion version, down from Biden’s initial $2.25 trillion. “In our view, this is the art of seeking common ground,” Psaki says. — Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 21, 2021 However, the $1.7 trillion offer is still far more than Republicans’ proposed $568 billion, and the two parties reportedly “remain deeply divided on the scope of an infrastructure package and how to pay for it,” The Wall Street Journal writes. Lead GOP negotiator Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said in a statement Friday afternoon that the counteroffer “is well above the range of what can pass Congress with bipartisan support.” .@SenCapito, who is leading the group of GOP negotiators of the infrastructure bill, issued a statement: “Based on today’s meeting, the groups seem further apart after two meetings with White House staff than they were after one meeting with President Biden.”h/t @krisvancleave — Weijia Jiang (@weijia) May 21, 2021 Cuts to the $2.25 trillion plan were made possible by the administration’s proposal to shift some spending in areas like “research and development” and “supply chains” to separate legislation. Politico writes that such a method is “unlikely” to please Republicans. However, the Journal notes Senate Republicans raised similar accounting maneuvers to adjust the total price tag recently. The White House counteroffer also lowered funding for broadband internet, and “roads, bridges, and major projects,” said Politico. The ball is now in the Republicans’ court to bring the “two sides closer,” officials said. More at Politico. More stories from theweek.com5 riotously funny cartoons about GOP resistance to the January 6 CommissionWhy Emily Wilder got fired and Chris Cuomo didn’tAngelina Jolie stands perfectly still, unshowered, covered in bees for World Bee Day

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