White House announces ‘potential deal’ on infrastructure talks

The White House said a “potential agreement” with bipartisan congressional negotiators was within reach over an infrastructure investment package expected to exceed $1 trillion, in a breakthrough that could advance a key part of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

After days of talks between senior Biden administration officials and a group of Democratic and centrist Republican senators on Capitol Hill, White House press secretary Jen Psaki signaled late Wednesday that an agreement might be reached.

“Senior White House staff had two productive meetings today with a group of bipartisan senators who have been negotiating infrastructure,” Psaki said. “The group has made progress toward a blueprint for a potential agreement, and the president has invited the group to come to the White House tomorrow to discuss this matter in person.”

The deal being discussed will boost financial funding Infrastructure Including roads, bridges and broadband networks, but it will be far less than the more expanded $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan Biden presented at the end of March.

Republicans have refused to pay for it with higher corporate taxes as the White House has proposed, so any agreement is expected to rely on redistributing unused pandemic stimulus funds and other sources of income to cover the cost. Final details are uncertain, though.

Even if an agreement is reached between moderate senators and the White House, he may have some difficulty winning approval in Congress. Bipartisan leadership will have to agree to it so it can withstand defections from Republicans opposed to any new spending and from progressive Democrats who believe it is insufficient to correct the problems plaguing America’s aging infrastructure.

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