Biden's Infrastructure Talks With GOP Collapse

Focus shifts to bipartisan group of senators
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2021 6:12 PM CDT
Biden's Infrastructure Talks With GOP Collapse
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito , talks with reporters as she walks to a vote on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

After weeks of talks, President Biden has failed to build a bridge between Democrats and Republicans on his infrastructure package. GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, the chief Republican negotiator, said Tuesday that Biden had ended the talks, NBC reports. She said Biden turned down a "very robust and targeted infrastructure package" and continued to respond with offers that included tax increases. White House officials say Biden concluded that Capito and other Republicans were unwilling to significantly increase infrastructure spending or offer specifics on how to pay for it. Officials say the administration will now focus on talks with a bipartisan group of senators including Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and Mitt Romney and centrist Democratic Sens. Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin, reports the Washington Post.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden thanked Capito for her efforts but expressed disappointment that "while he was willing to reduce his plan by more than $1 trillion, the Republican group had increased their proposed new investments by only $150 billion." Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are using a "two-path" approach to move Biden's infrastructure plan forward, the New York Times reports. He said bipartisan talks will continue, but Democrats are also looking into using the budget reconciliation process to pass at least parts of the package without GOP support. (More Biden infrastructure plan stories.)

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