President Biden and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito have concluded negotiations on the infrastructure bill. Capito’s offer “did not meet the essential needs of our country” to fix roads, bridges and create jobs for the people of the state, said White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki in a public statement released on Tuesday afternoon.
In his efforts to reach a middle ground, President Biden remained cordial and appreciative of Sen. Capito’s suggestion but expressed his profound disappointment on the Republican’s demeanor. While the President was willing to slash off his plan by more than $1 trillion, the opposition had increased their projected investments by only $ 150 billion, concluded Psaki.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Capito stated that they had a “robust package” and sufficient support from the Republicans to proceed with the task at hand. However, “they moved the goal posts on me a couple of times and they just decided to walk away,” said Capito in reference to the unsuccessful negotiations.
When asked what the next steps would be, Capito pointed to Biden, referring to him as the one in charge for the next course of action. The infrastructure talks have been going on for weeks, with both parties arguing for their stance to be reflected in the bill.
Republicans have continually expressed their disdain on child care, home care and work training on being a part of the infrastructure bill, whilst the White House considers these “human infrastructure” elements as vital components of the plan.
An official from the White House has highlighted President Joe Biden’s plans to discuss the infrastructure bill with a bipartisan group of senators. Meetings with this group have already begun as Biden has gotten in touch with Senators Kyrsten Sinema, Bill Cassidy and Joe Manchin on Tuesday, according to Psaki.
Additionally, Psaki stated that the President has persuaded them to work in collaboration with other Democrats and Republicans to create a bipartisan proposal that is “more responsive to the country’s pressing infrastructure needs.”
Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, remains optimistic about the outcome of the bipartisan negotiations. However, he remained clear about the package being crafted, which according to him is not what everyone wanted in the infrastructure domain. On Tuesday, he spoke of the idea to use reconciliation to track budgets, if and when a bipartisan deal is secured.
At present, Biden is gearing up for his first international trip as president on Wednesday. Psaki has informed the public about his intentions of staying in touch with members of the bipartisan group during the course of his trip to Europe.