(Washington) A group of ten Republican and Democratic senators said Thursday they are “optimistic” after reaching an agreement on a “realistic” infrastructure investment plan, which, however, has yet to convince US President Joe Biden.
These investments will reach $1.2 trillion over eight years, according to several US media outlets.
Crucial Point: The senators said in a short press release that they will “be fully funded and will not include a tax increase,” without giving details of that funding or its cost.
The tax increases envisaged in the giant $2 trillion plan that Joe Biden presented in March have been among the main obstacles that have stalled negotiations so far, with Republicans staunchly opposed.
The group of five Republican senators and five Democratic senators announced that they had reached “agreement between the two sides on a realistic and marketing framework for modernizing our nation’s infrastructure and energy technology.”
“We are discussing our approach with various colleagues as well as with the White House, and we remain optimistic that this may lay the foundations for attracting broad support from both parties,” they continued.
They include centrist Democrats Kirsten Senema and Joe Manchin, as well as Republicans Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
The Democratic president cut short weeks of difficult negotiations with the first group of Republican senators on Tuesday, saying he was disappointed to see their positions still remain so far away.
From more than $2 trillion offered in March, it fell to $1.7 trillion in May, then offered less than that last week, to about $1 trillion in new spending.
Republicans proposed nearly 1,000 billion in total, but the two groups remained irreconcilable over how to finance these investments and decide what should count as infrastructure.
Thus, the possibility of reaching an agreement between the parties remains remote.
In the absence of consensus, Democrats, who have said they want to vote on the infrastructure plan in July, could choose a parliamentary path that would allow them to adopt it by a very narrow majority in the Senate.
But here, too, it can be difficult to reach agreement between the left wing and the more conservative Democrats, in both houses of Congress.