Biden to Meet with Republican Lawmakers on Infrastructure This Thursday

Biden to Meet with Republican Lawmakers on Infrastructure This Thursday

May 10, 2021

Today, President Joe Biden will host two Democratic Senators for individual meetings at the White House. Senators Joe Manchin and Tom Carper, two committee chairmen central to the infrastructure legislative process, will meet separately with Biden at the White House to discuss the issue, according to a White House official.

CNN reports:

The talks are expected to intensify this week as lawmakers return from recess and Capito is scheduled to visit the President once again [this Thursday], along with GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Wicker. The focus is on finding out whether Republicans and Democrats could cut a more modest deal on infrastructure and then come back later using a special budget tool known as reconciliation to pass some of Biden’s more ambitious reforms like paid family leave and extending the expanded child tax credit.

The obstacles to passing even a scaled back infrastructure bill include disagreement over how big the package should be. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview with Kentucky Education Television (KET), a PBS affiliate, that most Republicans believe the price tag for that would be around $600-800 billion, which is lower than Biden’s proposal but still a higher range than the $600 billion Republicans have proposed so far. Senate Democrats have argued that even a bare-minimum package would need to be far more than that.

While the gawking $2.3 trillion price-tag infrastructure proposal Biden has put forth has brought worry to every American household who would be burdened with footing the bill, we are optimistic there is a bipartisan pathway forward. Sen. Capito in a radio interview with Hoppy Kercheval of Metro News in West Virginia said, “I do think we have some real good possibilities of getting a bipartisan bill here.”

Louisiana GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy, meanwhile, told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday that McConnell has made clear: “If we can find something that actually spends money on infrastructure, roads and bridges — imagine that, as opposed to what the Biden plan does which is spends a trillion on things which have no relationship to infrastructure — we can cut a deal.”

As Power The Future discussed previously in a blog post, “The Biden Administration’s “infrastructure” plan is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, focusing more on ‘Green New Deal’ policies while ignoring the basic energy infrastructure America needs to thrive.”

A plan with only 25% of the funding going toward infrastructure and a $2.3 trillion price tag isn’t looking to renew or repair America’s energy infrastructure, but is instead looking to replace it with expensive, unreliable green energy. We hope President Biden listens to the concerns brought forth by Republican leaders this week on the content of the package and the price tag.