WASHINGTON — The White House presented a counteroffer to Republican lawmakers on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and jobs plan, reducing the price tag from $2.2 trillion to $1.7 trillion, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.
The new offer reduced the funding request for broadband and moved the investments in roads, bridges and other projects to come closer to the Republicans goal of nearly $600 billion. Psaki said the corporate tax hikes remained in the bill to make good on Biden’s belief that wealthiest Americans and corporations should pay their fair share.
“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 — while also staying firm in areas that are most vital to rebuilding our infrastructure and industries of the future,” Psaki told reporters at Friday’s press briefing.
Psaki said that the White House’s new offer also includes a push for investments in the care economy, which Republicans have opposed, as well as clean energy and drinking water.
Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo all were at the meeting, according to Psaki.
Republican lawmakers have been pushing for a massive slash on the price, wanting a $568 billion plan. Both parties set Memorial Day as their goal reach an agreement. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia was not happy with the meeting on Friday and says she will continue to pressure the White House to lower the price.
“Based on today’s meeting, the groups seem further apart after two meetings with White House staff than they were after one meeting with President Biden,” the spokesperson said.
Biden said he was open to passing parts of his proposal without Republican support in an interview with MSNBC earlier this month.