White House reduces infrastructure proposal to $1.7T, down from $2.25T

Republicans had countered Biden's original plan with a $568 billion offer

Press secretary Jen Psaki revealed Friday that the White House is offering to bring the price tag of its infrastructure package down more than a half-trillion dollars, from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion, as negotiations with Republicans continue.

"In our view, this is the art of seeking common ground," she said. 

She said the new proposal trimmed some investments in research and development, supply chain manufacturing and small businesses, parts of the Endless Frontiers Act, out of the plan. It also reduced funding for broadband access to meet the level proposed by GOP lawmakers, from $100 billion to $65 billion.

Republicans had earlier countered Biden's original plan with a $568 billion offer. 

Negotiations are continuing Friday between Senate Republicans and the White House, and Psaki said their proposal will be shared after the meeting concludes. 

Republicans have since increased their initial offer and worked in good faith with the White House, a GOP source told The Associated Press.

However, a Republican source familiar with the White House counter offer told Fox Business it is "bad" and "very close to the original Biden proposal." The source said that shifting the Endless Frontiers Act out of the package was "meaningless" because the Senate is voting on it next week. 


Biden administration officials had last met with lawmakers on the Hill on Tuesday. 

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is leading the group of GOP lawmakers in drafting the slimmed-down infrastructure bill. Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, also attended the meeting. 

There are growing signs the party would be willing to back a bigger bill: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested last week there's an appetite for a package that costs as much as $800 billion, so long as it focuses solely on traditional infrastructure, including roads, ports, bridges, water lines and broadband.  


It's unclear how such a measure would be paid for; Republicans strongly oppose Biden's push to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and impose a higher global minimum on U.S. companies' foreign profits. 

McConnell said Senate Republicans would oppose any measure that rolls back parts of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and suggested an infrastructure bill could be paid for by raising the gas tax.


Psaki said Friday the White House is "encouraging the Republican ranking members to take a fresh look at how many corporations can afford to pay a little more taxes."

Psaki added: "We proposed a package that was $500B less expensive so it needs less pay-fors."

Fox Business' Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.