Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

GOP senators hoping White House will counteroffer their infrastructure proposal

Top Republican senators are hoping the White House will make some sort of counteroffer to their infrastructure proposal when they meet with President Biden on Thursday, lawmakers and their aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is a sign of how serious the negotiations are, they say. In advance of the meeting, some of the senators are already publicly signaling the areas in which they have flexibility.

  • One key compromise was stating they'd be willing to spend up to $800 billion — a big jump from their initial $568 billion offer.
  • $800 billion is the "absolute upper limit" of what Republicans will accept, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), a top GOP negotiator on infrastructure, said Tuesday.
  • Their strategy, the sources say, is to set expectations both for their GOP colleagues and the White House, so that when they sit with Biden, they can jump into plotting the significant areas of overlap — such as expanding roads, bridges and highways — that could shape a deal.

Attendees for Thursday's meeting include Wicker and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

  • "We plan to have a substantive meeting, that's what the president’s planning, too. It's not just ‘Hi, how you doing?’ type stuff," said Capito, the top Republican on the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee.

Yes, but: The biggest sticking point — how to pay for the package — has not been discussed in earnest, Capito and Wicker said.

  • It's unclear whether senators will even broach the subject until they get closer to an agreement about the basics of the bill, they added.

What we're hearing: Some senators and their aides predict that, if there's any deal at all — and that's a big if — the more aggressive and ambitious pay-fors, like increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations, will be punted to Biden's "American Families Plan."

  • That split would allow them to be muscled through by Democrats using the budget reconciliation process.
  • “What's to stop them from doing that?" Wicker told Axios, referring to the potential of Democrats delaying plans to raise taxes to pay for Biden's infrastructure proposal.
  • “My idea is to get an infrastructure bill, and then if Democrats want to see if they can convince their constituents to do away with stepped-up basis, and destroy family farms and second-generation businesses, then let them try," Wicker added, referring to what he argues will be the fallout from Biden's proposed tax increases.

Keep in mind: All talk of a potential deal comes with a heavy dose of skepticism.

  • The parties are more polarized than ever, and it'll be hard to sell the entire Senate GOP conference on a bill as pricey as $800 billion when another, far more expensive and progressive Democratic package also is promised.

E3 2021: Nintendo and Ubisoft team up again with Switch sequel “Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope"

Two of gaming’s biggest companies are creating a game together for the third time in five years with a Switch sequel, “Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.”

Why it matters: Nintendo rarely lets other companies work with its characters, making its continued partnerships with Ubisoft a rare sign of trust.

Keep reading... Show less

In photos: Harris shows up at Pride parade in downtown D.C.

Vice President Kamala Harris dropped in at the Capitol Pride Walk And Rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

The state of play: Harris and second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, joined the crowd, who welcomed them with cheers, according to press reports.

Keep reading... Show less

A "new industrial revolution" presses the reset button on work

The endgame of the pandemic is giving both employers and workers a chance to create a more humane relationship — both in the office and out of it.

The big picture: Companies need workers, but many employees aren't ready to go back to the way things used to be. A hybrid setup could provide the best possible way forward, if both sides are willing to give.

Keep reading... Show less

Blue Origin auctions off a trip to the edge of space for $28 million

A seat aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed flight to suborbital space fetched $28 million during a live auction on Saturday.

Why it matters: While the market for suborbital tourist flights to space may not be huge, experts say it's an important, public-facing part of the space industry that could popularize it as more people start flying.

Keep reading... Show less

Macron at G7: "It's great to have the U.S. president part of the club"

U.S. President Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron were all smiles and handshakes during their first formal, in-person meeting on Saturday, with Macron telling pool reporters "it's great to have the U.S. president part of the club."

Why it matters: Biden has made rebuilding the United States' global leadership central to his foreign policy, frequently touting, "America is back."

Keep reading... Show less

More than dozen injured in downtown Austin shooting

A shooting in a busy part of downtown Austin, Texas, early Saturday injured at least 13 people, including two who are in critical condition.

The state of play: Gunfire erupted around 1:30 a.m. along 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants. The suspected shooter remains at large, Austin police said. "It is unknown if there is one, or multiple suspects involved," they noted, adding the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden to urge G7 to take unified approach to countering China

President Biden on Saturday is expected to urge fellow G7 leaders to adopt a unified approach to countering China's rising global influence, AP reports.

Driving the news: The G7 leaders are set to unveil a multi-billion-dollar global infrastructure plan aimed at rivaling Beijing's efforts in the developing world.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories