Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said Sunday that talks with U.S. President Joe Biden are progressing on a significant infrastructure investment package, although there are differences over the size and purpose of the package.
“I think we can reach a real compromise, of course, we’re both still in the game,” Capito said in an interview with Fox News Sunday.
Capito is leading a group of six Senate Republicans who are in constant contact with Biden and White House advisers on a bill that the government wants to pass immediately in Congress.
Republican senators have proposed $ 928 billion to upgrade roads, bridges and other traditional infrastructure projects. The bulk of the funding will come from money created legally for other purposes that have not already been used.
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The latest offer in negotiations with the Biden government is $ 7.7 trillion, and will include federal spending on projects beyond traditional infrastructure, such as home care for the elderly.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” program, Transport Secretary Pete Pattick said of the recent Republican counter-offer: “There is movement in the right direction, but a lot of concern.”
“We have to make investments beyond what happened anyway,” he added. He also noted the need to use the Infrastructure Bill to tackle climate change, and identified opposition to the transfer of Covit-19 relief money to infrastructure accounts.
After a meeting at the White House that Republicans consider productive, Capito said Biden’s advisers deviated from some of the ideas put forward by Republicans.
“We have had some improvements and trips with the team, and it has receded a little bit, but I think we are smoothing out those margins,” said the West Virginia senator, whose state could benefit significantly from new investments in infrastructure.
However, Republicans continued to be reluctant to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations that helped fund the projects.
When asked by Capito about cutting some of the Republican tax cuts passed during the Trump administration, Capito said, “I will not vote to throw them out.”
He also objected to the addition of new funding to projects beyond the infrastructure infrastructure, saying that these could be considered in other measures going through Congress.
Negotiations were expected to continue this week, with Congress returning to the Senate on June 7, despite the suspension.