Infrastructure negotiations between President Biden and lead GOP negotiator Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have officially broken down, CBS News reported Tuesday afternoon. Moving forward, Biden will instead discuss plans with a bipartisan group, having already spoken to moderate Sens. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), said Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
In a statement following her latest conversation with the president, Capito blamed the White House for the negotiations' collapse.
The president previously dismissed Capito's latest $50 billion olive branch, an increase she proposed tacking on to Republican's previous counteroffer of $257 billion in new spending. Biden, however, is looking for a compromise of at least $1 trillion, a number Republicans have rejected. Both parties have remained deeply divided over how to pay for the bill and how much new spending to include, The New York Times reports.
Although Biden believes the GOP counteroffer to be "too low and too vague," he "thinks highly of Capito," reports Bloomberg. A White House official told the Times the West Virginia senator "entered and exited the talks in complete good faith."
A bipartisan group of 20 senators led by Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had already been working on a bipartisan back-up proposal in case talks with Capito burned out. It's unclear whether this route will now pick up steam, but Romney confirmed the group's proposal does include pay-fors. Read more at CBS News.