WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of 10 senators announced late Thursday they have come to an agreement on an infrastructure deal, but doubts from Republicans and impatience from Democrats has it hanging in the balance.
The new deal reportedly includes $579 billion in new spending for a total of $1.2 trillion in infrastructure funding over eight years. However, no new tax hikes are on the table, something the White House is against.
We are discussing our approach with our respective colleagues, and the White House, and remain optimistic that this can lay the groundwork to garner broad support from both parties and meet America’s infrastructure needs,” said a joint statement from the group of Senators, which includes Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) called the deal “a pretty low-entry step to a deal” that can get 60 votes to pass.
“I remain open-minded. It’s the best bet we have right now for something that’s not just jamming something down our throats,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, who said the efforts from Sen. Capito was the “best chance” for something bipartisan to be done.
Meanwhile, Democrats are growing impatient. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said there is no way the deal will get enough votes from members of his party.
“There’s no guarantee that there’s 50 Democratic votes for whatever this group works out,” he said.
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said White House staff was briefed earlier in the day on the situation and President Joe Biden has been informed on what was going on.
“The President appreciates the Senators’ work to advance critical investments we need to create good jobs, prepare for our clean energy future, and compete in the global economy,” he said. “Questions need to be addressed, particularly around the details of both policy and pay fors, among other matters.”
Some Democrats are putting pressure to stop the bipartisan talks and push through the bill with just Democratic support but it is still unclear if there are 50 Democrats that would vote for it.