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Bipartisan Group Announces Infrastructure Proposal Agreement

A group of bipartisan lawmakers tapped by President Joe Biden announced Thursday that they had reached an infrastructure deal to present to Congress.

The group of 10 Democrats and Republicans said they had reached an agreement on a “realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies” and would not be funded by tax increases, in a statement released by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., on Twitter.

“We are discussing our approach with our respective colleagues and the White House and remain optimistic that this can lay the groundwork to garner broad support from both parties and meet America’s infrastructure needs,” they wrote.

Biden turned to the lawmakers after calling off negotiations with Senate Republicans led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito on Tuesday.

Sen. Mitt Romney told reporters Thursday that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had been briefed on the agreement and said he was “open” to the proposal.

Some Democrats on Thursday, however, opposed the agreement, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal saying he had “no confidence” the group would reach a deal.

“I really think it’s time to pull the plug now and take action promptly and robustly … I worry about time being wasted,” he said. “We simply do not have the time to waste.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren also called for Congress to vote through a package quickly.

“Let’s face it. It’s time to move forward,” Warren said. “The Republicans have held us up long enough.”

Biden initially proposed a $2 trillion package in March that included two parts — the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan — but lowered the figure to $1.7 trillion and then to $1 trillion last week after Republicans balked at the price tag.

The bipartisan Senate group had been working in the background since it was looking likely that the Capito-led talks were on the verge of collapse. Meanwhile, another bipartisan group of House members, known as the Problem Solvers Caucus, released its own infrastructure proposal on Wednesday totaling around $1.25 trillion, which includes nearly $762 billion in new spending.

 

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