Bipartisan Group of Senators Reaches Agreement on Infrastructure Proposal
By Andrew Duehren
WASHINGTON -- Members of a bipartisan group of senators said
they had reached an agreement on an infrastructure proposal that
would be fully paid for without tax increases, pitching the plan to
other lawmakers and the White House as they try to craft compromise
legislation on the issue.
While the group of 10 senators didn't reveal details of the plan
in its statement, people familiar with the plan said it called for
$579 billion above expected future federal spending on
infrastructure. The overall plan would spend $974 billion over five
years and $1.2 trillion if it continued over eight years, according
to some of the people.
The initial agreement comes days after President Biden called
off a separate set of negotiations with Senate Republicans over an
infrastructure plan, instead pivoting his focus to the talks among
the group of five Republicans and five Democrats.
To move forward in Congress, the plan would need the buy-in from
a broader group of Republicans and Democrats, as well as the White
House. In recent days, some Democrats have indicated they are
skeptical that the bipartisan talks will result in a large enough
"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," said the group, which includes
Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.), Rob Portman (R., Ohio) and Joe
Manchin (D., W.Va.).
The White House didn't immediately comment on the announcement
by the senators.
Republicans said the infrastructure investments wouldn't be paid
for by tax increases, but lawmakers have been tight-lipped about
how they fund the package, expected to be the most contentious part
of the negotiations. Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah), another member of
the group, said earlier Thursday that the group was looking at
indexing the gas tax to inflation. The federal gasoline tax hasn't
been increased since 1993.
The new proposal is also expected to be paid for in part by
repurposing funds from previous Covid-aid packages, said Sen.
Shelley Moore Capito (R., W.Va.), who led the last round of
negotiations with Mr. Biden and has talked with members of the
Mr. Biden last week indicated he would be open to using about
$75 billion of Covid aid passed during the Trump administration,
but administration officials said he wouldn't siphon any funds from
the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package passed earlier this
Write to Andrew Duehren at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 10, 2021 18:18 ET (22:18 GMT)
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