White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says officials see “several constructive additions” in Republicans’ new infrastructure proposal. However, they still have areas of concern.
In a statement on Thursday, Psaki said, “We are grateful for the work of Senator Capito and her colleagues on this proposal. It is encouraging to see her group come forward with a substantially increased the funding level—nearing $1 trillion.”
“We appreciate the hard work that went in to making this proposal and continuing these negotiations,” she added.
She went on to say Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W-Va.) told President Joe Biden she would give him more details on the proposals.
Psaki said they saw “several constructive additions to the group’s previous proposals, including on roads, bridges and rail.”
However, “We remain concerned that their plan still provides no substantial new funds for critical job-creating needs, such as fixing our veterans’ hospitals, building modern rail systems, repairing our transit systems, removing dangerous lead pipes, and powering America’s leadership in a job-creating clean energy economy, among other things.”
She also said officials were “concerned” that the plan to pay for the proposal was “unclear.”
Finally, Psaki said Biden spoke with Capito to thank her for the proposal and that “we will work actively with members of the House and Senate next week, so that there is a clear direction on how to advance much needed jobs legislation when Congress resumes legislative business during the week of June 7.”
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Biden said he had a “good conversation” with Capito. He added, “She’s going to contact me next week. I told her we have to finish this really soon.”
President Biden says he has spoken to GOP Sen. Shelley Capito and other Republicans about their counteroffer to his infrastructure plan, and "we're going to have to close this down soon." He does answer whether he thinks the GOP offer is too small https://t.co/QUyqn3XwuQ pic.twitter.com/oW2QIP0RYT
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 27, 2021
Biden also said he plans to meet with Republicans next week to negotiate on the infrastructure package.
On Thursday morning, Senate Republicans unveiled a $928 billion infrastructure proposal that would spend $506 billion on roads and bridges.
The new proposal is higher than Republicans’ initial $568 billion proposal from April but is lower than Biden’s $1.7 trillion proposal.
While Capito said Republicans are negotiating in “good faith,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) knocked their latest proposal.
“I don’t really think this a serious counteroffer,” she said during an appearance on MNSBC.
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