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Bo Snerdley

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Biden Ends Infrastructure Talks With GOP, But New Negotiations Emerge

Credit: Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA

New York (77WABC) – President Joe Biden has ended talks with Republican senators on a big infrastructure package and has started to reach out to senators in a new bipartisan effort.

According to the Associated Press, once talks with Republicans ended, Biden started reaching out to senators from both parties to come up with a new compromise. Ten senators got together privately late Tuesday on a new plan, including Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Democrat Seantors Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, whose votes will be important.

The original Republican group, led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito, had offered a $928 billion proposal and Biden was seeking a $1.7 trillion. At the same time, a bipartisan House group drafted its own proposal. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that Biden wants legislation passed by summer.

“He informed Senator Capito today that the latest offer from her group did not, in his view, meet the essential needs of our country to restore our roads and bridges, prepare us for our clean energy future, and create jobs,” Psaki said. “He offered his gratitude to her for her efforts and good faith conversations, but expressed his 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.”

Capito put out a statement about the talks Tuesday afternoon, expressing her disappointment but acknowledging that plenty of bipartisan work has already been done.

“President Biden ending negotiations today is disappointing, but cannot diminish the bipartisan work we’ve already accomplished,” Capito said in a tweet. “My @EPWGOP colleagues and I will continue to build off of the bipartisan legislation we’ve already passed on true infrastructure.”

Despite ending the original talks, President Biden was still welcoming Capito in the new bipartisan group.

Biden also spoke to lawmakers from the Problem Solvers Caucus Tuesday. The Problem Solvers group agreed to $761.8 billion in new spending over eight years as part of $1.2 trillion plan, according to a draft obtained by the AP. The one-page draft does not include any proposed ways to pay for the package.

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