“Our group – consisting of 10 senators, 5 from each party – has acted in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic, compromise framework for modernizing our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies. The investment will be paid for in full and will not include tax increases,” the senators said in a joint statement.
While the group did not publicly disclose the specifics of the agreement, multiple sources tell CNN that they have prepared a package that includes:
- $1.2 trillion spent over eight years
- $974 billion spent in first five years
- The plan calls for new spending of $579 billion dollars.
- The spending will be focused on the core, physical infrastructure.
- The plan will be paid without tax hikes.
- Many specific details still need to be ironed out.
While the deal is an important first step, there is still a long way to go before negotiations become a reality. Liberal Democrats in the Senate have particularly urged in recent days to move beyond trying to win Republican support from their more centrist allies, and instead insisted on a partisan plan that could lead to reconciliation.
The plan for reconciliation requires only 50 senators, unlike most other laws, which require 60 votes. While the bipartisan group of negotiators includes five Republicans, there are still fewer than five GOP votes—and so is all 50 members of the Democratic caucus vote year. Liberal members of the Senate this week complained about the bipartisan group’s talks and urged Democrats to go it alone.
And that’s to say nothing of the House, where Democrats also hold a very small majority.
White House response
The initial reception from the White House was positive. The new money in the agreement could represent a little more than half of President Joe Biden’s initial physical infrastructure proposal and is worth exploring, a senior administration official told CNN. The official said the lack of a tax increase doesn’t make it a nonstarter, adding that a potentially acceptable payment that the White House considers still in play is a “user fee” on corporations, not individuals, and tougher IRS enforcement. .
Shopping at the White House will be important. While many Democrats expressed concern that their party’s negotiators were leaving too much in the talks, it could force many to fall in line if the president backs the plan. But navigating razor thin margins in both the Senate and the House can prove to be dicey. Progressive rich in both houses are continuously raising taxes on corporations and spending on climate change initiatives should be included in the final package. If they walk away from the deal, more Republicans will be needed to vote for the package.
“Earlier today, White House staff were briefed by Democratic senators working on a bipartisan agreement on infrastructure,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. “The President applauds the work of senators to advance the important investments we need to create good jobs, prepare for our clean energy future, and compete in the global economy. Questions need to be addressed, especially around the details of both the policy and the payment, among other things.”
Who’s in the group?
Thursday’s announcement came from a group of 10 senators who have become primary negotiators after talks between Capito and Biden. Contains:
- Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia
- Sen. Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire
- San Kirsten Cinema of Arizona
- Sen. John Tester of Montana
- Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia
- Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy
- Sen. Susan Collins of Maine
- Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski
- Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio
- Mitt Romney of Utah
What will happen next?
Lawmakers see the July 4 holiday as an important time period to make progress on a deal, but have not specified an exact time frame because Hill and White House negotiators wanted to allow enough time for a deal .
The bipartisan deal makers acknowledged they had work to do, but vowed to work to convince their partners that the offer provided their best hope of achieving something.
“We are discussing our approach with our respective allies and the White House, and remain optimistic that it will garner broad support from both sides and lay the groundwork to meet America’s infrastructure needs,” the group said. Can do.”
CNN’s John Harwood, Phil Mattingly, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox and Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.