President Biden stopped his talks with Republican senators led by Republican Senator Shelley Capito (WV) this week over spending disagreements and tax disagreements in relation to his infrastructure bill.
Biden and Capito spoke for just five minutes before Biden walked away from the talk as the two sides were still around $700 billion away after the Republicans final offer. Biden said the discussions had run their course. Instead, he shifted his attention to a bipartisan selection of 20 senators to keep the talks going.
Biden “told Senator Capito that the most recent offer from her group was not, in his opinion, meeting the vital needs of our nation to restore our bridges and roads and prepare us for the clean energy future,” press secretary Jen Psaki said in her comment.
“The President gave his thanks to her for her efforts and good faith discussions, but was disappointed that, while he was not willing to go down by more than $1 trillion, the GOP group had increased their new offer by just $150 billion dollars.”
The bipartisan senator group, nicknamed the G20, will have Republican Senator Mitt Romney leading them. He has been said to be working to give an alternative offer in case discussions with Biden fail. Biden is reportedly already discussing with Democrats to try to salvage a compromise. Those senators include Bill Cassidy, Kyrsten Sinema, and Joe Manchin.
“It sort of surprised me these other people wanted to try. It must be different than Capito,” said Democrat Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (IL) during an interview. “There is seven weeks until we break in August … We are running out of chances.”
This resulted in the two sides combating over taxes. Republicans gave a $928 billion infrastructure program offer. It would have included around $330 billion in new project spending. Biden’s $1.7 trillion program is based on increasing taxes on large businesses and high-earning Americans. Taxation as a means of funding was the red line that the GOP refused to break and ended with Biden walking away.
“Despite the success we made in our discussions, Biden kept returning with offers that had tax increases as his source of funds, instead of many other practical sources that would not mean harming families and small businesses,” Capito said.
My statement on President Biden ending infrastructure negotiations with Republicans: pic.twitter.com/jeRYcuXFbC
— Shelley Moore Capito (@SenCapito) June 8, 2021
Author: Blake Ambrose