Biden announces bipartisan agreement on $1.2T infrastructure bill: ‘We have a deal’

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President Biden on Thursday announced a bipartisan deal on a massive infrastructure bill that can pass with the support of at least 10 Senate Republicans.

“We have a deal, ” Biden told reporters on the White House driveway after meeting with a bipartisan group of senators.

“I clearly didn’t get all I wanted. They gave more than I think maybe they were inclined to give in the first place,” Biden said.

The precise details weren’t immediately clear, but it’s expected to cost about $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $953 billion spent in the first five years. About $579 billion in new spending would flow to projects such as roads and bridges, with the rest of the money being redirected.

Biden acknowledged that Republican opposition blocked some of his farther-reaching plans to boost social spending via tax hikes on businesses and higher incomes. And Biden said he was open to an attempt by Democrats to ram through additional items via budget reconciliation.

“I understand their position — Republicans and this group did not want to go along with many of my family plan issues, the childcare tax credits, the human infrastructure I talked about,” Biden said.

He added: “We’ll see what happens in a reconciliation bill and the budget process. If we get some compromise there and if we can’t, see if I can attract all the Democrats to a position… they’re gonna move on a dual track.”

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) led a 21-senator group that on Wednesday agreed on the broad outlines of the compromise.

“We’ve agreed on the price tag, the scope and how to pay for it. It was not easy to get agreement on all three,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). “It sends an important message to the world as well that America can function, can get things done.”

With enough Republicans on board in the Senate to get over the 60 vote threshold, the biggest threat to the deal comes from within Biden’s own party — with Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) slamming the plan as “paltry” and “pathetic.”

The announcement followed a brief meeting between Biden and a group of 10 senators including Sinema, Portman and Collins. The president added a 2 PM televised address to his schedule to promote the deal.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) joined Biden at the White House to finalize the deal.

The other five Republicans who signed on to support the deal are Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

But Democrats already are threatening to reject the compromise.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a press conference Thursday that she will block a bipartisan bill if the Senate doesn’t first pass a second and more contentious bill packed with tax hikes and social spending via budget reconciliation rules that allow for a simple majority in the Senate.

But Manchin, who can single-handedly derail a budget reconciliation bill in the evenly divided Senate, said Thursday that he’s not necessarily on board.

“We have to see what’s in the other plan before I can say, ‘Oh yes, you vote for this and I’ll vote for that.’ That’s not what I have signed up for. I only signed up for what’s in the plan that makes sense, keeps us competitive and also takes care of the needs of Americans,” Manchin said.

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