Senate Democrats Weigh $ 6 Million Infrastructure Bill, GOP Minus – .

Senate Democrats Weigh $ 6 Million Infrastructure Bill, GOP Minus – .

“The bipartisan talks could have an impact on us, but we will continue,” Sanders said Wednesday.

According to an interim plan, half of the alternative offered only to Democrats would be paid. About $ 2.5 trillion would go through the finance committee, $ 185 billion through the energy committee, and nearly $ 500 billion through the environment and public works committee, a source said, while emphasizing that the discussions are fluid.

A spokesperson for the budget committee declined to comment.

Moderate Democrats met with Schumer at midday to discuss their bipartisan proposal, budget and reconciliation, according to two sources familiar with the matter. They have signaled that they are unlikely to agree to a package worth up to several trillion dollars, but talks of a compromise are only just beginning in earnest.

Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) Laughed when asked if the $ 6 trillion figure was too high. He said he was “open” to reconciliation, but wants the increases in corporate income tax and capital gains to be more modest than those presented by Biden.

“Can we keep [the bipartisan bill] alive and moving when we start to have disagreements over reconciliation? Because I understand the Democrats are not going to go for the infrastructure plan, however good it is, without at least giving it what I would call visibility into what’s going to happen on reconciliation, ”Warner said. in an interview. “I and others have to say, ‘I can live with this part and not this part.’ “

Details of the larger plan come as a bipartisan group of senators, led by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) And Rob Portman (R-Ohio), released details of an infrastructure plan this week. which costs about $ 973 billion over five years or $ 1.2 trillion over eight. The plan would include $ 579 billion in new spending, and the payments include reallocating unused Covid relief funds, imposing a surtax on electric vehicles, and expanding the use of state and local funds for the relief from coronaviruses.

Schumer may need to ensure he has unified support for a massive Democratic-only package before he can strike a deal on a separate bipartisan bill.

The White House has been reluctant to index the gasoline tax, electric vehicle fees and plunder Covid funds. But a White House official said Senate Democrats offered them a more detailed and updated briefing on Wednesday.

“We continue to be encouraged by what our team has been told,” said the manager.

The leaders of both parties expressed some skepticism about the initial bipartisan plan. Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RS.D.) said on Thursday that the means proposed by the bipartisan group to finance its plan could be “problematic” because they may not produce revenue in the eyes of the Congressional Budget Office. But he added that “from a directional point of view, they are off to a good start. And most of the components are things that a number of our people could support. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Said the income side “held me back.”

“I only hesitated because I just don’t know if those numbers will go away, if you end up with the type of income projected for each of the items,” Durbin said.

So far, a bipartisan group of 21 senators have endorsed the bipartisan approach, and details of the plan remain in motion. And the Democrats’ separate considerations on an infrastructure bill as large as $ 6 trillion – more than President Joe Biden’s original over $ 4 trillion plan – don’t necessarily suggest they are preparing. that these talks fail. The broader framework includes provisions that could be added to a separate infrastructure bill passed along party lines, even if the bipartisan talks bear fruit.

The White House met with a group of Democratic negotiators on Wednesday. But we don’t yet know what the next steps are.

“I think there is an obvious way forward, there are just a few things that need to be put in place,” said Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Who is participating in the bipartisan negotiations. “The first being that we have to come to an agreement, hopefully on Monday. I just don’t think we can get past the bipartisan [talks] and then there must be a lot of work done by the budget committee. ”

Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) is pushing for a bipartisan deal and is not fully committed to a second reconciliation package with only Democratic priorities, which is a key demand from progressives whose votes will be needed for everything bipartite agreement. For weeks, liberal lawmakers have been pushing for the White House to go it alone.

Schumer insisted that the Senate will deal with infrastructure in July. He also wants the Senate to consider a budget resolution that would unlock the possibility of passing a partisan bill and escaping filibuster.

The potential reach of $ 6 trillion, however, is much welcome news from the nearly 100-member progressive congressional caucus, which distributed a wishlist for the $ 6 trillion to $ 10,000 billion package. . Their list includes universal child care, lowering the age of Medicare eligibility, a permanent extension of the child tax credit. The group also offered to pay around $ 3 trillion for its proposal, mostly through tax increases on the wealthiest Americans.

Moderates in the House, however, balked at the price and scale of the package. While many moderates say they are ready to support policies that go beyond physical infrastructure, such as child care, there is little agreement on which way to go. House Democrats can only afford to lose four of their members in any given vote, and that margin will be reduced to three votes after a special election in Texas in late July.

Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.


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