Politics & Policy

Capito Says Biden Ended Talks on Infrastructure Bill

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R., W.Va.) questions during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., April 14, 2021. (Greg Nash/Reuters)

Negotiations between President Biden and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R., W.Va.) on a bipartisan deal for infrastructure legislation collapsed on Tuesday.

Capito said Biden ended negotiations over a disagreement about raising taxes to pay for projects in the legislation. According to Capito, Biden had agreed to a $1 trillion compromise bill, however Biden felt that GOP offers were too low, according to Bloomberg.

“Despite the progress we made in our negotiations, the president continued to respond with offers that included tax increases as his pay for, instead of several practical options that would have not been harmful to individuals, families, and small businesses,” Capito said in a statement. “While I appreciate President Biden’s willingness to devote so much time and effort to these negotiations, he ultimately chose not to accept [Republicans’ offers]…and, instead, end our discussions.”

Biden will move to work with a bipartisan group of 20 senators on a way forward for negotiations, Politico reported. Those senators, led by Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.), Mitt Romney (R., Utah), Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), and Rob Portman (R., Ohio), have been working towards a $900 billion deal but have not agreed on final legislation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden was dismayed that Republicans did not further raise their offer.

Biden “expressed his disappointment that, while he was willing to reduce his plan by more than $1 trillion, the Republican group had increased their proposed new investments by only $150 billion,” Psaki said in a statement.

The president announced a $2 trillion infrastructure plan in late March, including repairs to the country’s roads, bridges, and railways, as well as funds and incentives to manufacture electric vehicles as well as a nationwide network of charging stations. Citing the bill’s cost, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) commented that Republicans would fight the plan “every step of the way.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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