White House offers $1.7 trillion counter proposal in infrastructure talks with GOP

By: The Associated Press & Scripps National

A concrete pump frames the Capitol Dome during renovations and repairs to Lower Senate Park on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. President Joe Biden hopes to pass a massive national infrastructure plan by this summer but Democrats and Republicans in Congress appear divided over his proposal for $2.3 trillion in spending to upgrade the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has put forward a $1.7 trillion infrastructure counteroffer to Senate Republicans.

The new proposal drops President Joe Biden’s sweeping $2.3 trillion proposal “in the spirit of finding common ground,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

Psaki released few other details, but she said the proposal agreed to reduce the funding request for broadband to match the Republican offer and to reduce the proposed investment in roads, bridges, and other projects to come closer to the number proposed by GOP senators.

Psaki disclosed the new offer as talks were still underway between key Cabinet secretaries and GOP senators at a crucial stage toward a deal.

“This proposal exhibits a willingness to come down in size, giving on some areas that are important to the president, otherwise they wouldn’t have been in the proposal. We’ll also stay firm in areas that are most vital to rebuilding our infrastructure and industries of the future, making our workforce and our country more competitive with China,” said Psaki.

Psaki said the administration will release more details of the counter proposal soon.

Skepticism had been rising on all sides amid complaints about the lack of significant movement off the opening bids. Republicans had offered a $568 billion plan.

The president’s team had set a soft Memorial Day deadline to determine whether a deal was within reach.

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