$700 billion in unspent COVID aid is included in the GOP’s new $1 trillion infrastructure proposal.
By Thursday, Senate Republicans expect to present a $1 trillion solution to President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, their most significant counterproposal yet in the negotiations.
The Republican proposal will last eight years and leverage $700 billion in untapped COVID-19 aid funds.
Biden initially proposed a $2.3 trillion infrastructure investment, which he subsequently reduced to $1.7 trillion. Meanwhile, Republican senators started with a $568 billion bid and had only increased it by around $50 billion before the expected $1 trillion plan this week.
According to the Associated Press, some Republicans met with Biden about two weeks ago to discuss the investment strategy and claim their latest idea aligns with the president’s input. Biden’s infrastructure proposal may or may not gain bipartisan support before the Memorial Day deadline for reaching an agreement, but both Senate Republicans and Biden’s allies have expressed a desire for a settlement.
West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told Capitol Hill reporters that she and her colleagues are “anxious to have a bipartisan agreement.”
At the White House on Tuesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “We expect this week to be a week of change.”
See more from the Associated Press below for more information on this story.
In this and other negotiations, Republican senators and aides have made no secret of their dissatisfaction with the White House staff.
They claim that although Biden appears to be able to negotiate with senators in public and private, his staff often changes course. They cite a similar dynamic during the coronavirus aid talks, when Biden seemed to agree with a group of Republican senators only to have his staff shake their heads no.
The Republicans are anxious to make public Biden’s remarks to them as they make the case for their latest offer at a crucial juncture in the talks, with the deadline approaching on Memorial Day.
Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Republican offers have been “mischaracterized” so far. He told reporters the negotiators would be putting out a “clarification” that will “make it clear what our offer actually is.”
The Republicans have uniformly rejected Biden’s plan to pay for the investments by raising corporate tax rates.
Psaki declined to comment on the forthcoming GOP proposal.
“This is. This is a brief summary.