U.S. President Joe Biden and Republicans began the weekend at an impasse over how to craft an infrastructure deal.
According to the White House, Biden on Friday rejected a new proposal from the main Republican negotiator on infrastructure, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, that increased spending by about $50 billion over their last offer of $257 billion.
Biden said the new offer still did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said Biden had already compromised on his initial $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal:
"He's obviously come down quite a bit in what he originally proposed and hopefully they'll have more than can add to their proposal.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had this to say on Thursday:
“Let's reach an agreement on infrastructure that's smaller, but still significant and fully paid for.”
While Biden and Capito agreed to speak again on Monday, the White House also strongly signaled that it may seek a path forward with other Republican lawmakers - besides Capito - or even with only Democrats.
Biden is eager to show that he made a good-faith effort at a bipartisan deal, sources said, but he risks creating division among Democrats, some of whom believe he is giving up too much.
Biden offered to drop his plan to raise corporate tax rates as high as 28% sources said, replacing it with a minimum 15% tax rate aimed at ensuring all companies pay taxes.
But Republican leaders see corporate tax hikes to finance the construction of roads, bridges, water pipes and other projects as a non-starter.