Senate Republicans unveil counteroffer to Biden’s infrastructure plan — Here’s what’s in it
WASHINGTON / CNBC — Senate GOP members sent a $928 billion counteroffer for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan on Thursday, as the sides see whether they can reach a bipartisan deal.
The plan includes:
- $506 billion for roads, bridges, and major infrastructure projects, including $4 billion for electric vehicles
- $98 billion for public transit
- $72 billion for water systems
- $65 billion for broadband
- $56 billion for airports
- $46 billion for passenger and freight rail systems
- $22 billion for ports and waterways
- $22 billion for water storage
- $21 billion for safety efforts
- $20 billion for infrastructure financing
Biden’s latest offer to Republicans came in at $1.7 trillion — that’s $600 billion less than his original plan. He had urged GOP members to consider an infrastructure package with at least $1 trillion.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said the sides are “inching closer” in negotiations ahead of Memorial Day, the date by which the White House wanted to see progress in bipartisan talks.
“We’re still talking. I’m optimistic, we still have a big gap,” Capito said. “I think where we’re really falling short is we can’t seem to get the White House to agree on a definition or a scope of infrastructure that matches where we think it is, and that’s physical, core infrastructure.”
Right now, it’s unclear if the two parties can overcome broad ideological differences to strike a bipartisan deal. If negotiations do not show promise, Democrats will have to decide whether to try to pass an infrastructure bill on their own using special budget rules.
But that process isn’t as simple as you’d think. Senate Democrats would have to keep all 50 members on board as well as comply with strict rules about what can go into a budget reconciliation bill.
Republicans have said they do not want to raise taxes to cover the costs of improving transportation, broadband and water systems.
“We can do this without touching … those tax cuts,” Capito said.
The president had promised not to raise on anyone who makes less than $400,000 per year.
In trimming his original $2.3 trillion plan, Biden cut out funding for research and development and supply chain enhancements. He also reduced proposed spending on broadband, roads, and bridges.
Biden didn’t cut down the proposed $400 billion for home based health care. GOP members have criticized that spending as part of an infrastructure package.
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