U.S. President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators announced that they have reached an agreement on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan. This is a rare breakthrough in a deeply divided Washington and is facing approval The complicated path of Congress.
“We have reached an agreement,” Biden said in an unexpected appearance outside the White House on Thursday, alongside several Democratic and Republican senators.
In another White House speech, Biden called the agreement “true bipartisan cooperation.” “When we decide to do it together, as a country, there is nothing that our country cannot do.”
We reached an agreement. A group of senators—five Democrats and five Republicans—came together to reach an infrastructure agreement that will create millions of American jobs.
-President Biden (@POTUS) June 24, 2021
This plan to cut new spending by $579 billion has received rare support from both parties and may open the door for the president to later propose a broader $4 trillion proposal.
Republican Rob Portman, one of the senators of the Group of 21 (G21), said: “We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we came up with a good compromise.”
He said that both Republicans and Democrats promised to let this matter “cross the finish line.”
According to a fact sheet issued by the White House, the bipartisan agreement includes traditional infrastructure spending on roads and bridges, as well as new transportation-related projects, such as the establishment of a national electric car charger network.
Expanding broadband, upgrading the national power infrastructure, and replacing lead water pipes are other items in the proposal.
The complicated way forward
The agreement was accompanied by a complicated legislative push. Biden’s larger infrastructure package will be completed separately in a congressional budget process called a settlement.
“They will advance on a dual track,” Biden explained.
His comments indicate that he plans to spend Trillion The broader “human infrastructure” priorities, such as climate change, healthcare, and childcare, will follow a track in Congress, while they are committed to passing the agreement.
This is a nod to progressive Democrats who insist on matching smaller deals with his larger proposals.
“This is important,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before Biden’s announcement. “Without a settlement bill, there would be no bipartisan bill.”
The Democratic leader promised that the House of Representatives will not vote on the two proposals until the Senate has processed them, starting with the preliminary vote in July to consider the bipartisan agreement and initiate Biden’s lengthy procedures. Bigger proposalThe current total is close to US$4 trillion, but some progressive Democrats hope to increase it to US$6 trillion.
The plan will run through the budget coordination process, allowing Biden’s priorities to be passed by a majority without the need for Republican support to overcome the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. This will require multiple rounds of voting and may extend into the fall.
Like Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “One cannot do without another.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who heard a briefing on the plan earlier on Thursday, has not yet revealed whether he will support the plan.
Before the White House meeting, Portman told reporters on Capitol Hill that McConnell “keep an open mind and he is listening.” Portman added, “He hasn’t made a decision yet.”
McConnell did not later respond to reporters’ questions about his position.
The main obstacle to reaching a bipartisan agreement is financing. Biden asked not to impose new taxes on Americans whose annual income is less than $400,000, and Republican lawmakers are unwilling to raise taxes beyond the steps of linking gasoline taxes to inflation.
Since Republicans opposed Biden’s proposal to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, the organization has considered other ways to increase revenue. Biden rejected the idea that the gasoline tax they allowed to pay at gas stations rose with inflation, thinking it was a financial burden for American drivers.
Extensive settlement bills may include tax increases for wealthy people and businesses, so there are still tensions in funding some Republicans and business groups.
This is a signal to both sides of the road ahead. The Liberal Democrats have always been cautious about the efforts of the two parties because they think it is not enough and worry that it will replace Biden’s larger plan. Republicans also expressed doubts about passing the bipartisan bill, but faced a larger Democratic plan.