A group of bipartisan senators and President Joe Biden have struck an infrastructure deal that will provide $579 billion in new investments in roads, broadband internet, electric utilities, and other projects that may move his economic agenda through Congress.
“We have a deal,” Mr. Biden said outside the White House, according to The New York Times. The president was standing beside a group of Republicans and Democrats after going over the proposal in the Oval Office. “I think it’s really important we’ve all agreed that none of us got all that we wanted.”
There is no current plan as to how the deal will be structured. However, it’s expected that the deal will be funded by a suite of revenue increases that do not break President Biden’s promise not to raise taxes on the middle class and Republicans’ red line of not reversing business tac cuts passed under Former President Donald Trump.
“We’ve agreed on the price tag, the scope, and how to pay for it,” Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said.
“This does represent a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona. Sinema helped spearhead the talks at the white house, which reminded the president of “the days we used to get an awful lot done up in the United States Congress.”
However, President Biden’s endorsement does also not guarantee the package will be enacted, as top Democrats have made it clear that the plan can not go through unless it is in tandem with a much larger package of spending and tax increases. The plan in question is President Biden’s $4 trillion economic proposal. Democrats are attempting to push the plan through unilaterally, while a majority of Republicans oppose the plan.
The bill seemed to be accepted on Capitol Hill as most Democrats seemed to be open to accepting the initial details of the agreement. However, under the condition, their moderate colleagues accept the second, much larger package that would look to address key priorities like climate change.
If they can agree, the deals would be passed using the fast-track budget reconciliation process, which would bypass the need for Republican votes in the Senate.
“There ain’t no infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill,” Ms. Pelosi told House Democratic leaders on a private call, according to two officials who disclosed the remarks on condition of anonymity, reported by The New York Times.
The deal-making isn’t over as both pieces of legislation still need most lawmakers on capitol hill to see the most recent details of the framework. Democratic leaders must also be cautious that the moderate negotiators don’t back out on another infrastructure bill.