(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia, U.S. May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will host Republican U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito on Wednesday, the White House said, in hopes of hammering out a bipartisan infrastructure deal to revitalize America’s roads, bridges and broadband internet systems.
The meeting will take place amid growing pressure from Democrats in Congress to move forward on Biden’s sweeping $1.7 trillion proposal, which would not only address traditional infrastructure projects but also address climate change and seek to build up social programs such as eldercare.
A group of Senate Republicans led by Capito have proposed a $928 billion eight-year plan, focused narrowly on physical infrastructure and broadband access, in their latest attempt to broker an agreement with the administration.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Biden and Senate Republicans have been involved in “a good-faith, healthy discussion” on how to move forward on infrastructure and job creation.
“The president is going to have a conversation with Senator Capito tomorrow to continue those discussions,” Jean-Pierre said aboard Air Force One as Biden traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Capito said that “real compromise” is possible, in an interview over the weekend. But Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has been involved in talks with Republicans, indicated that the time for a decision on negotiations is fast approaching.
The White House hopes to wrap up infrastructure negotiations within the next week or so, according to a person familiar with the talks.
Republicans reject Biden’s sweeping approach to infrastructure, as well as his plan to pay for his plan by raising taxes on U.S. corporations.
Democrats, who view the narrow Republican approach as insufficient, are pressing to move forward without Republican support by using a parliamentary move known as reconciliation.
Biden to host Republican senator Wednesday for infrastructure talks – White House
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