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White House pares infrastructure proposal to $1.7 trillion, Republicans balk

CommoditiesMay 21, 2021 08:01PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque     

By Jarrett Renshaw and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The White House said on Friday it had pared down its infrastructure bill to $1.7 trillion from $2.25 trillion, with cuts to investments in broadband and roads and bridges, but Republicans dismissed the changes as insufficient for a deal.

The White House effort represented a desire by President Joe Biden to engage with the opposition party on an issue that the Democratic president has made a priority in his early days in office.

But the two sides remain far apart on everything from the size of the package to how to pay for it.

White House officials held a call with a group of Republican senators on Friday to hash out some of their differences and present the new draft.

"This proposal exhibits a willingness to come down in size, giving on some areas that are important to the president ... while also staying firm in areas that are most vital to rebuilding our infrastructure and industries of the future," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Some aspects that had been removed from the new proposal, such as investments in research and development, would find their way into other bills, she said.

Republican U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito, John Barrasso, Roy Blunt, Mike Crapo, Pat Toomey, and Roger Wicker have put forward their own proposal, which is much smaller than the White House version.

They said the White House proposal could not pass Congress with bipartisan support.

"Based on today’s meeting, the groups seem further apart after two meetings with White House staff than they were after one meeting with President Biden," the senators said in a statement, adding that they would continue to engage with the administration.

A White House memo showed Biden's new proposal would reduce spending on broadband to $65 billion, down from an initially proposed $100 billion.

Spending on roads, bridges and major infrastructure projects would drop to $120 billion, down from Biden's initial proposal of $159 billion but well above Republicans' desired $48 billion.

Psaki said that because the overall cost of the package had come down, the need for "pay-fors" would also be reduced. Biden remained committed to not raising taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year, she said.

The White House plan, which Republicans have decried as too expensive, would seek to address climate change and social issues such as elder care, in addition to revitalizing traditional transportation infrastructure.

It would cover the cost of the investments by raising taxes on U.S. corporations and wealthy Americans. Top Republican lawmakers have said they would not agree to a tax hike.

White House pares infrastructure proposal to $1.7 trillion, Republicans balk
 

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Comments (26)
Me comment
Me comment May 24, 2021 10:41AM ET
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Don't give in to the repos craft the plan and push it through under reconciliation.
Pat Mathieu
Pat Mathieu May 23, 2021 9:02AM ET
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If roads and bridges make less than 7% of the "infrastructure bill" they should call it sth else.
Aaron Chaff
AayAayRon May 22, 2021 7:33AM ET
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Right now, the only "investment" this corrupt, decaying U.S. Government can possibly make is a wholesale cutting of regulation and spending.
Darryl Allen
Darryl Allen May 22, 2021 4:10AM ET
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Just tax tax tax businesses until they leave the US and then what good is the infrastructure?
danny Levine
danny Levine May 22, 2021 4:10AM ET
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did Mexico "steal" our jobs or we simply gave them away?
Ronald D.
Ronald D. May 22, 2021 4:10AM ET
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danny Levine  When  you run a company,  make  300x the average pay... Sure, run it by the numbers - not the people numbers.
Allan Veerasamy
Allan Veerasamy May 22, 2021 1:25AM ET
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any gap down monday thoughts plse
Josh Modern
JoshModern May 21, 2021 11:12PM ET
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take a trip through Europe and you'll realize how antiquated our infrastructure is. how many more avoidable Katrina disasters out there...
Hung Pham
Hung Pham May 21, 2021 11:12PM ET
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And you cant pay me enough to live in Europe. Do you know why millions of people around the world want to come to the US and nit Europe? Only the spoiled and ungrateful liberals don’t understand that
Pat Mathieu
Pat Mathieu May 21, 2021 11:12PM ET
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I'm moving from the EU to the US, it's too crowded here and there's no place for entrepreneurs, socialism is a terminal illness.
Yup Tub
Yup Tub May 21, 2021 11:12PM ET
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Hung Pham Unfortunately there's mass migration to Europe too.
Yup Tub
Yup Tub May 21, 2021 11:12PM ET
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That's not true for every european nation: i.e. UK, Ireland and Netherlands are business friendly.
Al Gore
Al Gore May 21, 2021 10:10PM ET
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very good
Red Riley
Red Riley May 21, 2021 9:50PM ET
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Halloween mask
Investing Man
Investing Man May 21, 2021 9:46PM ET
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Infrastructure is important however by ignoring the tech sector (essentially outsourcing it to foreign countries) investors have allowed an entire generation to fall under the influence of countries who did not, pitting them against America. These are essentially computer, gaming/3d/art/creative, media, and technical industries all outsourced to countries.  These young people are easily influenced and investors handed them to countries pitted against the United States. One of the broad failures of today's corporations.
Luu Hung
Luu Hung May 21, 2021 8:17PM ET
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Keep spending money that you dont have lol
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood May 21, 2021 8:17PM ET
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like China...
Mark Stallone
Mark Stallone May 21, 2021 7:22PM ET
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Print Print Print. Inflation Inflation Inflation. Crash Crash Crash.
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood May 21, 2021 5:05PM ET
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Almost alien like..
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood May 21, 2021 5:04PM ET
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This person is a complete freek.
Nick Leeds
Nick Leeds May 21, 2021 5:04PM ET
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Jen psaki looks and sounds like a college intern. We know who wears the pants in this administration
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood May 21, 2021 5:04PM ET
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This person is a complete freek of nature. Next time you see her on tv, look really closely at her eyes and mannerisms. Totally bizarre.. almost alien like.
Steve Lora
Steve Lora May 21, 2021 4:22PM ET
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Money will end up in unions and back to Democrats just like Obama's shovel ready jobs that never happened..that was $1 Trillion
Roger Miller
Roger Miller May 21, 2021 4:19PM ET
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The cuts appear to have been made primarily to actual infrastructure, the smallest and most beneficial spending for everyone, versus social spending.
James Pattison
James Pattison May 21, 2021 4:03PM ET
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Hyperinflation anyone?
Bill Bill
Bill Bill May 21, 2021 4:03PM ET
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Nope
Billy Wood
Billy Wood May 21, 2021 4:01PM ET
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Still way too much pork.
Bob Albright
Bob Albright May 21, 2021 4:01PM ET
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Yeah let's just keep building pork walls
James Pattison
James Pattison May 21, 2021 3:59PM ET
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How much for “the big guy”
Peter Spinella
Peter Spinella May 21, 2021 3:44PM ET
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there's more pork in that bill then China produces in a year wish itcwould really fix the grid airports rails a d tunnel bridges but it wont
Mox Mox
Mox Mox May 21, 2021 3:18PM ET
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The person (lady, man, he/she/they x@) whatever looks like needs a good fak
Mox Mox
Mox Mox May 21, 2021 3:18PM ET
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*the person in the photo
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel May 21, 2021 3:15PM ET
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Biden’s 10% is part of infrastructure
Ad Cline
Ad Cline May 21, 2021 3:13PM ET
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yes milena... modernizing, adding to America's infastructure, and boosting the level of education of America'swork force, would be a threat to your friends in Russia and China.
danny Levine
danny Levine May 21, 2021 3:13PM ET
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infrastructure, sure. if you look into it, most of it is PORK
Notvery Goodathis
Peteymcletey May 21, 2021 3:07PM ET
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Sounds like they only reduced the infrastructure portion of the bill....
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar May 21, 2021 2:58PM ET
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What a shame they don't know the definition of infrastructure . the whole thing might have some meaning
Jm Vm
Jm Vm May 21, 2021 2:58PM ET
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Yeah, if you're stuck in the 1930's you just can't understand what infrastructure means in the 2020's can you? You still drive a car with a crank to start it? I didn't think so... so why would you think the infrastructure of the 1930 has anything to do with what it's developed into? That development includes educational, humanitarian, communications, and social infrastructure to name just a few that  they couldn't have even imagined of and didn't exist than but does now to the benefit of our Nation.
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood May 21, 2021 2:58PM ET
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Jm Vm  Goof. I love how the little wokists keep trying to redefine words to support your foul nasty fascist agenda.. shame on you.
Darryl Allen
Darryl Allen May 21, 2021 2:58PM ET
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Jm Vm this foo said social infrastructure lmfao
 
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