Senators involved in bipartisan negotiations say they and White House officials have agreed to an infrastructure “framework” and will meet with President BidenJoe BidenBaltimore Police Chief calls for more ‘boots on the ground’ to deal with crime wave Biden to deliver remarks at funeral of Sen. John Warner Garland rejects broad review of DOJ politicization under Trump MORE Thursday to brief him.
“Republicans and Democrats have got together, with the White House, and we have agreed on a framework and we are going to go to the White House tomorrow,” the senator said. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs Warn of Drastic Reform of Military Justice System | Senate committee plans briefing in July on repeal of war permit | National Guard could have ‘training issues’ if not reimbursed Balance – Presented by NextEra Energy – Flaming shipwreck wreaks havoc on annual sea turtle migration predicts July briefing on repeal of war permit PLUS (R-Utah) told reporters after a meeting Wednesday.
Son. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSchumer promises next steps after ‘ridiculous’ ‘horrific’ obstruction of GOP election bill, Biden says pressure to advance election review ‘far from over’ Pelosi quashes select committee reports from January 6 PLUS (DW.Va.), another member of the group, confirmed that White House officials at the meeting signed the framework and “came to an agreement.”
“They said it sounded good… We said we were all on the same page,” Manchin added of the White House’s reaction to the meeting.
The plan, senators said, consists largely of details the bipartisan group released in recent weeks as senators tried to build momentum on their proposal. It includes roughly the same amount of new spending, $ 579 billion, for a total of $ 974 billion over five years or $ 1.2 trillion over eight years.
After days of confusion and high-profile divisions over how to pay for the deal, senators walked out of Wednesday night’s meeting saying revenue and how to pay had been locked down.
“There is a framework on a bipartite infrastructure package,” said the senator. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret Collins Pelosi cancels January 6 select committee reports White House advisers rally with Senate moderates on infrastructure Battle of the Supreme Court could wreak havoc on Biden’s 2020 agenda MORE (R-Maine), another member of the group, told reporters.
The deal is effectively tentative until, and if, Biden signs. Senators noted that they still have to draft the legislation and iron out final details.
“There are still details… we haven’t written that down yet,” Romney said.
Collins added that there were “still a lot of details to work out.”
And the White House didn’t put Biden’s seal of approval on the framework until Thursday’s meeting, effectively making it a tentative deal.
“Senior White House officials had two productive meetings today with the bipartisan group of senators who negotiated on infrastructure. The group has made progress towards previewing a potential deal, and the president has invited the group to come to the White House tomorrow to discuss this in person, ”White House spokesman Jen PsakiJen Psaki Baltimore Police Chief calls for more ‘boots on the ground’ to deal with crime spree White House draws anger from progressives amid defeat of voting rights White House admits marker of July 4th vaccine will be missed MORE said in a statement.
But it’s still a boost to the likelihood that Biden will be able to get his highest legislative priority through Congress and a significant breakthrough for the odds of a bipartisan infrastructure package.
Senators and the administration have been in talks for months, first with a group of GOP senators led by Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Health Care: Key takeaways from the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision | COVID-19 claimed 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration invests billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Long-haul COVID-19 presses Congress for paid family leave Senate confirms Radhika Fox will head EPA PLUS water office (RW.Va.) then with the bipartite group, led by Sens. Kyrsten CinemaKyrsten SinemaSchumer promises next steps after ‘ridiculous’,’ horrible ‘GOP election bill, White House filibuster arouses progressives’ ire amid defeat of Senate voting rights GOP blocks the bill on voting rights PLUS (D-Arizona) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones Portman White House Advisers Gather with Senate Moderates on Infrastructure The Hill’s Morning Report – Featured by Facebook – Biden Support, Gas Tax Questions Remain on Infrastructure (R-Ohio).
It’s also a turnaround from even earlier Wednesday, when the group faced skepticism from colleagues about the possibility of closing a deal.
Republicans, watching their colleagues try to capture what has effectively been a political white whale for years, questioned whether Democratic negotiators and the White House were on the same page.
“I think they’re mixed,” Sen said. John CornynJohn Cornyn Progressive groups launch 0.5million ad buy to pressure Sinema over obstruction Black lawmakers warn of appeasement after Juneteenth victory Senate is where dreams will die MORE (R-Texas) on Democrats on whether or not to go it alone or get a bipartisan deal.
And Democrats have increasingly made it clear that they are prepared to halt bipartisan talks and try to adopt a massive infrastructure package on their own. Democrats can use reconciliation to avoid legislative obstruction of 60 votes in the Senate if they can unite their 50 members behind a plan.
But some, like Manchin, have not yet committed to a uniquely Democratic package. Democrats also did not agree on the scope of such a plan with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSchumer promises next steps after ‘ridiculous’ and ‘horrible’ obstruction of GOP election bill Schumer, Pelosi meets White House on infrastructure Feehery: 8 reasons why Biden should close bipartisan infrastructure deal (I-Vt.) Suggestion they could go up to $ 6 trillion, causing rejection from other caucus members.
Senators involved in the negotiations also said they felt intense pressure to at least lock in a framework of agreement before the Senate leaves town for a two-week break on Thursday.
Majority leader in the Senate Charles SchumerChuck Schumer White House sparks anger among progressives as voting rights defeat Murkowski to vote ‘no’ to voting rights bill Harris to chair Senate for voting rights debate MORE (DN.Y.) wants to have votes on both a bipartisan package and a budget resolution that would put in place a second, separate, larger, Democrats-only bill during the brief chamber working period in July .
“The two tracks, the bipartite track and the budget reconciliation track, are advancing rapidly. And we hope to have voted on both… in July, ”Schumer told reporters Wednesday night after an approximately two-hour meeting with the Speaker of the House. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi cancels January 6 select committee reports Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs Warn of Radical Reform of Military Justice System | Senate committee plans briefing in July on repeal of war permit | National Guard could have ‘training issues’ if not reimbursed On the money: Powell says pick-up in job gains likely this fall | Schumer, Pelosi meets with White House on PLUS infrastructure (D-California) and White House officials.
Schumer said he meant the “first act” of reconciliation when passing a budget resolution would be completed next month. Democrats have not set a specific timeline for when they believe they can get Stage Two – a massive and detailed infrastructure bill – through the Senate, which is expected to run in early August through mid -September.
And even though senators from bipartisan groups have boasted of having struck a “framework deal,” they still have to sell the plan to their own colleagues, in addition to Biden.
Another member of the group, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), did not use the word “executive” but pointed out that they were “very close”.
“We’re going to have the awareness and the support to increase the vote from the middle,” Portman said.
Neither Schumer nor Pelosi endorsed the framework Wednesday night, nor predicted the support it might get, saying they wanted to see the details.
In a wake-up call that the deal is not a deal made just because White House officials and the bipartisan group signed on, Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott Murphy GOP blocks Voting Rights Bill Congress heads for debt cliff End practice of hitting children in public schools MORE (D-Conn.) Warned the deal did not yet have the votes to pass the Senate.
“This chord has 20 votes – not 60 votes,” Chris Murphy said in an interview with CNN, adding that they needed to take a “deep dive.”
“This deal has 20 votes – not 60 votes,” Chris Murphy told CNN. Said they need to do a “deep dive” on the invoice https://t.co/oXdbpGLtdD
– Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 24, 2021
Updated at 22:43