(LR) US Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), US Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and US Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) hold a bipartisan meeting on the infrastructure in the basement of the U.S. Capitol after the initial talks with the White House on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC failed.
Samuel Corum | Getty Images
President Joe Biden will meet with Democratic and Republican infrastructure negotiators in the White House Thursday as Senators say they are closer to a deal to modernize transportation, broadband and utilities.
“White House leaders had two productive meetings today with the bipartisan group of senators negotiating infrastructure,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday evening. “The group has made progress towards a draft possible agreement and the President has invited the group to come to the White House tomorrow to discuss this personally.”
Legislators have worked for weeks to put together a roughly $ 1 trillion infrastructure package that could get through Congress with support from both parties. Deciding how to pay for the plan was the most challenging, and the Senators haven’t finalized how a proposal would increase revenue.
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21 Senators – 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats – supported the infrastructure framework. You will likely need to win the support of Democratic leaders to garner the 60 votes required to pass the bill in the Democratic Senate.
Biden plans to meet with Senators who created the plan at 11:45 a.m. ET.
“We’ll see what the president says, but I tell you that we worked very closely with the White House negotiators throughout this process,” said Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican and one of the leading infrastructure negotiators CNBC on Thursday morning. He said the group would introduce the plan to more senators from both parties.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., who worked on infrastructure as co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, told CNBC that a deal was “inches away.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, met with White House officials Wednesday night. If they support the bipartisan framework, they could try to sell their factions if they pass it before adopting a larger bill that addresses more of their priorities without Republican votes. The second package could include programs in child and elderly care, education, health care and climate change.
The Senate has begun working on budget resolution, which would allow Democrats to use the reconciliation process to pass the plan.
“Both paths – the bipartisan path and the path to the budget vote are moving forward, and we hope to have voted on both in July in the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Schumer told reporters after the White House meeting.
Both congressional leaders agreed to Biden’s request not to collect taxes on anyone who earns less than $ 400,000 a year, according to a White House reading from the meeting. The Biden government has announced that it will not support an increase in gas tax or a charge for the use of electric vehicles under the bipartisan framework as it would break the president’s promise.
Republicans have opposed the president’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. The GOP lowered the rate from 35% in 2017.
This story evolves. Please check again for updates.
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