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.
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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.
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