President Biden and West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito – Democrats and Republicans’ top infrastructure negotiator – met one-on-one Wednesday in the White House Oval Office in hopes of brokering a bipartisan deal on infrastructure, a top priority for the president.
Democrats’s last offer costs an estimated $1.7 trillion. The Republican counter-offer is closer to $928 billion.
Whether Biden and Captio can – or want to – exit the meeting with a compromise amount is just one of several hurdles.
Biden as a former senator is partially to bipartisan deals. But his party’s progressive wing wants a big spending package and has raised concerns about compromise blocking their path to future legislative wins including one on green energy.
Another issue is who will pay for the spending taxes, with the Democrats’ plan calling for a corporate tax increase, which Republicans oppose.
According to an CNBC report, the Republican counteroffer does not include key Democratic topics such as money for housing upgrades, public schools or the $400 billion they wanted for home health care. However, other key infrastructure areas such as roads, airports and rail systems were included.