WASHINGTON – After weeks of negotiations with Republicans over President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure package, administration officials report heightened frustration with ongoing talks, with several suggesting a deal could move forward without support of the GOP.
“It needs to be done soon,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. She added that he was “puzzled as to why the Republicans did not go further on critical issues.”
Asked about calls from some Democratic lawmakers to move infrastructure forward without GOP support, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Biden “disagrees” with ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday .
“People want a bipartisan deal. If we don’t get it, we’ll look at other options,” Raimondo said while warning it was “far too early at the moment” to discuss the Democrats’ move forward. without republicans.
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The secretaries’ comments come after the White House announced on Friday that House of Transportation and Infrastructure Speaker Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Will present Biden’s infrastructure proposal for the committee’s markup on Wednesday, a first important step to move the legislation to a full vote.
“The president still has hope, Joe Manchin still has hope, we all have hope that it can happen… But I can tell you that the House will start its markup on Wednesday,” said Granholm.
The administration’s change of tone on the negotiations reflects officials’ disillusionment with the possibility of a satisfactory deal. Some progressive lawmakers have already pointed out the White House downsizing on its original $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan is unsatisfactory.
While after weeks of negotiations, White House and GOP lawmakers have slashed the overall price of a potential infrastructure package, Biden and the Republicans remain at odds over new federal spending versus federal spending on basis, as well as more fundamental disagreements over the definition of infrastructure.
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On Friday, the President spoke again with Senator Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., the Republican top infrastructure negotiator, and turned down a $ 50 billion increase to the latest $ 928 billion proposal from the GOP.
Biden “expressed his gratitude for his efforts and goodwill, but also indicated that the current offer did not meet his goals of economic growth, tackling the climate crisis and creating new jobs,” said the White House in a statement after the meeting.
Biden and Capito are expected to speak again on Monday.
Biden had previously proposed not to raise the corporate tax rate and to reverse Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which Republicans called a red line in negotiations.
In return, he proposed a minimum corporate rate of 15% for the nation’s largest businesses, which often pay little or nothing in federal corporate taxes due to various loopholes and exemptions. GOP lawmakers argued that such a proposal would hurt U.S. industry.
Follow Matthew Brown online @mrbrownsir.