Biden Rejects Higher GOP Infrastructure Offer from Capito

U.S. President Joe Biden. (Photographer: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg)

Biden Rejects Higher GOP Infrastructure Offer from Capito

President Joe Biden rejected an increased infrastructure offer from a group of Senate Republicans led by Shelley Moore Capito on Friday, the White House said.

In a phone call with Biden, Capito outlined a plan with about $50 billion more in spending than the group had previously proposed, the White House said in a statement.

“The president expressed his gratitude for her effort and goodwill, but also indicated that the current offer did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs,” the White House said.

A Senate Republican aide said that the $50 billion was all new spending and said that in total Capito had put forth the largest ever GOP infrastructure proposal in an offer tailored to priorities Biden articulated.

Capito’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Biden told Capito “that he would continue to engage a number of senators in both parties in the hopes of achieving a more substantial package,” the White House said. The two agreed to speak again on Monday.

Capito’s group has offered an infrastructure proposal that on its face totals $928 billion in spending over eight years, but only $257 billion of that would be new net spending above amounts Congress was expected to approve anyway. That offer came after Biden lowered his initial demand for a $2.3 trillion bill to $1.7 trillion, all of which would be new spending.

Earlier Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the administration was open to a “range of options” on infrastructure, which she said included working with a bipartisan group of senators including Republican Mitt Romney of Utah and Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana.

The president also spoke Friday to Representative Peter DeFazio, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which plans to begin debating a $547 billion highway and transit bill next week. The two agreed on “the benefits of continued engagement with Democratic and Republican senators as the House works on infrastructure advances this coming week,” Psaki said.

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