Bipartisan group reaches agreement on infrastructure spending framework
The announcement came after weeks of negotiations between the Biden administration and GOP lawmakers failed
A bipartisan group of 10 senators said Thursday it has reached a tentative agreement on a "realistic, compromise framework" for an infrastructure spending package.
The announcement came after weeks of negotiations between the Biden administration and top GOP lawmakers. President Biden engaged with key members of the group in recent days after talks broke down with a separate group led by Sen. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va.
"Our group – comprised of 10 Senators, 5 from each party – has worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies," the senators said. "This investment would be fully paid for and not include tax increases."
"We are discussing our approach with our respective colleagues, and the White House, and remain optimistic that this can lay the groundwork to garner broad support from both parties and meet America’s infrastructure needs," they added.
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The agreement is largely focused on physical infrastructure projects and includes $579 billion in new spending, a source familiar with the deal's terms told Fox News. The plan would cost $974 billion over a five-year span and $1.2 trillion over eight years.
The bipartisan group includes Bill Cassidy, R-La., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Mark Warner, D-Va.
"The President appreciates the Senators’ work to advance critical investments we need to create good jobs, prepare for our clean energy future, and compete in the global economy," White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement. "Questions need to be addressed, particularly around the details of both policy and pay-fors, among other matters."
"Senior White House staff and the Jobs Cabinet will work with the Senate group in the days ahead to get answers to those questions, as we also consult with other Members in both the House and the Senate on the path forward," he added.
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Earlier talks between Biden and Capito fell apart after disagreements regarding the structure, size, and financing of his proposed infrastructure plan. Republicans have widely opposed Biden’s plan to fund the spending package through tax hikes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
GOP lawmakers previously offered a $928 billion infrastructure proposal that included roughly $330 billion in new spending, well short of Biden's preferred level of investment. An administration source said Biden wanted a higher spending commitment and felt that Republicans had failed to provide a clear plan to pay for the package.
Fox News' Jacqui Heinrich contributed to this report.