The bargaining between the Republicans in the Senate and President Joe Biden came to an impasse Tuesday, and the president broke of the talks. He is instead working with a group of 20 senators on a massive infrastructure bill that at least one Democrat lawmaker has admitted is much ado about climate change, rather than roads and bridges.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, (R-W.Va.), was the lead Republican negotiator to the White House when she got the call from Biden on Tuesday, breaking off the talks.
The new bipartisan group of senators now working with Biden includes Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, along with Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney, (R-Utah), Joe Manchin, (D-W.V.), and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). The group of senators began meeting together on Tuesday to come up with an offer for the president.
Rep. Tom Malinowski, (D-NJ) said at a June 4 town hall: “President Biden, on the other hand, proposed a bill that defines infrastructure more broadly… and, on top of that, included some things that probably most people would not think of as infrastructure but that many of us think are really important for the country.”
That is the big sticking point for conservatives, who have seen everything from climate change to day care redefined as “infrastructure” by the Biden Administration.
The talks with the Republicans also broke off because the conservatives in the Senate would not spend more — the GOP’s final offer was about $700 billion too little for the president to accept; his package wants more than $2.3 trillion in new federal borrowing over the next eight years. It would take 15 years for Biden’s proposed corporate tax hike to generate enough revenue to pay for the projects.
As for paying for day care with borrowed federal dollars, the children will be graduating from high school before their federally funded day care is paid off, conservatives note.