President Joe Biden has rejected an increased infrastructure offer from a group of Senate Republicans led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WVA) on Friday, the White House said. Biden and Capito commuted via telephone and with Biden’s rejection, the talks will drag on for at least another week to try and break the impasse on a bipartisan deal.
According to the White House, the Republican’s latest proposal included $50 billion in new spending across a number of infrastructure programs, and was the largest ever GOP infrastructure proposal, in an offer tailored to priorities Biden had articulated. Biden communicated that it fell short of his economic and climate change priorities.
The call, came two days after the two had met at the White House on Wednesday for their first one-on-one talks. Biden reportedly discussed on Wednesday what he’d like to see included in any future GOP counteroffers on new spending and further narrowed his own proposal as it relates to taxes to pay for the plan.
Capito’s group has offered an infrastructure proposal that on its face totals $928 billion in spending over eight years, but only $257 billion of that would be new net spending above amounts Congress was expected to approve anyway. That offer only came after Biden lowered his initial demand for a $2.3 trillion bill to $1.7 trillion, all of which would be new spending.
“The president express his gratitude for her effort and goodwill, but also indicated that the current offer did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis and create new jobs,” the White House said.
Biden told Capito “that he would continue to engage a number of senators in both parties in the hopes of achieving a more substantial package.” Biden also spoke to U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
That committee plans to begin debating a $54 billion highway and transit bill next week. The two agreed on “the benefits of continued engagement with Democratic and Republican senators as the House works on infrastructure advances this coming week,” White House Press Secretary Psaki, said.
Psaki also told reporters “the administration was open to a range of options on infrastructure, which she said included working with a bipartisan group of senators including Mitt Romney (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Jon Tester (D-MT).
Biden and Capito both noted that they would renew talks again on Monday.