The Biden administration has cut its proposed infrastructure plan from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion in a gesture of compromise between the White House and congressional Republicans, Politico reported Friday. While negotiations are not yet over — even with a Memorial Day deadline for "progress" looming — the administration's counteroffer "was a sign [it] remains eager to craft a deal," per Politico.
White House Press Secretary Jenn Psaki said, "This is the art of seeking common ground."
However, the $1.7 trillion offer is still far more than Republican's proposed $568 billion, and the two parties reportedly "remain deeply divided on the scope of an infrastructure package and how to pay for it," The Wall Street Journal writes. Lead GOP negotiator Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said in a statement Friday afternoon that the counteroffer "is well above the range of what can pass Congress with bipartisan support."
Cuts to the $2.25 trillion plan were made possible by the administration's proposal to shift some spending in areas like "research and development" and "supply chains" to separate legislation. Politico writes that such a method is "unlikely" to please Republicans. However, the Journal notes Senate Republicans raised similar accounting maneuvers to adjust the total price tag recently.
The White House counteroffer also lowered funding for broadband internet, and "roads, bridges, and major projects," said Politico. The ball is now in the Republicans' court to bring the "two sides closer," officials said.
More at Politico.