Twenty senators joined together Wednesday in bipartisan support for a $950 billion infrastructure bill that would be paid out over a five-year period.
Ten Republicans and ten Democrats crafted a plan they said would work as a "framework" to address the nation’s biggest infrastructure goals without raising taxes.
"We support this bipartisan framework that provides an historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure needs without raising taxes," the group said in a joint statement. "We look forward to working with our Republican and Democratic colleagues to develop legislation based on this framework to address America’s critical infrastructure challenges."
Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Todd Young of Indiana joined Democratic Senators Chris Coons of Delaware, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Mark Kelly of Arizona, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Warner of Virginia and Independent Angus King of Maine in crafting a plan.
King caucuses with the Democrats.
The latest plan is a cut from President Biden’s original $2 trillion plan that sought to bolster infrastructure, address climate change-based initiatives and expand employment.
The plan agreed to Wednesday would include $580 billion in new spending above a $394 billion baseline. Biden asked for about $600 billion in new money.
It would also include unused funds set aside for coronavirus relief that Biden agreed to repurpose, along with rejected unemployment insurance funds from the more than 20 states that no longer accept enhanced federal unemployment.
The bipartisan plan will need to still win over Republicans who refused to agree to a plan that includes anything but basic infrastructure costs.
But Biden and progressives in Congress could prove to be the bigger hurdle in finding a bipartisan infrastructure plan.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus pushed the president Wednesday to pass a whopping $6 trillion plan through budget reconciliation – sidestepping the need for GOP support.
"We're just not going to be able to agree to some small deal that only deals with physical infrastructure that doesn't take on climate, that doesn't take on childcare, that doesn't take on healthcare," Jayapal, D-Wash., told reporters Wednesday of the nearly 100-member progressive caucus. "That's why we're saying: Let's go big. Let's go bold. Let's go now. And let's go with what the American people want."
Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.