Biden will KEEP urging Republicans on $1.7 trillion infrastructure deal as China invests 10 times more than US, Energy Secretary Granholm says ahead of White House make-or-break meeting
- President Joe Biden holds one-on-one meeting in Oval Office on Wednesday with Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the GOP’s top infrastructure negotiator
- Two-party talks continue, but pressure is high for the June 7 deadline
- Government Officials Pressure Republicans To Give In
- “Clearly there needs to be some additional movement on the part of Republicans,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told CNN
- She also said the US was falling behind in infrastructure investment
With the clock ticking towards a deadline for an infrastructure deal, President Joe Biden will meet with the GOP’s top negotiator on Wednesday as the two sides continue to split over the issue.
Biden will sit down with Senator Shelley Moore Capito in a rare one-on-one Oval Office meeting as bipartisan negotiations continue. The White House passed its initial Memorial Day deadline for a deal. The new benchmark is now June. 7.
But the administration is pressuring Republicans to grant some of their demands, including to uphold the corporate tax cuts introduced by President Donald Trump.
“I think clearly some additional movement is needed on the part of Republicans and I think there could be,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told CNN on Wednesday morning.
President Joe Biden holds one-on-one meeting in Oval Office on Wednesday with Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the GOP’s top infrastructure negotiator
The two sides remain far apart on two crucial parts: the total cost of it – Biden is $1.7 trillion, while the GOP proposal is $928 billion – and how they should pay for it – Biden wants the corporate tax increase that was lowered as part of Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, while Republicans want to use user fees, which Democrats say is not an option.
Granholm argued that Biden was trying to fix a “crooked” tax system put in place under Trump’s budget cuts and said the Republicans’ user fees proposal was “essentially a gas tax and the president ruled that out.”
“There are other ways to skin the cat,” she added.
And she pointed out that the United States is lagging behind on a global scale when it comes to infrastructure.
“We can’t sit around negotiating forever. We must come to an end,” she said. “China invests 10 times as much in infrastructure as the United States. That is simply not sustainable for us if we want to lead.’
Other White House officials have made it clear that it is time for talks.
Karine Jean-Pierre, deputy White House press secretary, said on Tuesday that President Biden is “grateful and encouraged by the good faith efforts we’ve seen from Republican senators, but as the president said last week, we need to get through these negotiations.” finish quickly’.
And Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that Democrats would write their own infrastructure legislation — without input from the GOP — when lawmakers return to Washington next week after their Memorial Day recess.
Democrats have a small majority in the House and Senate.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told CNN Republicans must make concessions to infrastructure and expressed concern that China is investing more than the US.
Capito, a West Virginia Republican who has spearheaded the issue, said she hopes the two sides can come to an agreement.
“I think we can make a real compromise, absolutely, because we’re both still in the game,” she said on Fox News Sunday. “I think the president himself told me we’re going to do this.”
And Biden, who has a reputation for working across the aisle, would like to strike a deal.
But the clock is ticking as the administration looks to a June 9 committee hearing in the House that will set the tone for infrastructure legislation in that chamber.
And without GOP support, Biden will have to use his political muscle to keep his Democrats in line. Due to the thin majorities, he cannot afford to lose many votes in his party.
After the meeting, Biden heads to Rehoboth Beach — where the Biden family owns a large beach house — with plans to return Friday. First Lady Jill Biden’s 70th birthday is Thursday.