Biden Announces Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
Details are quite scant at the moment.
CNN (“Biden: ‘We have a deal’ on infrastructure with bipartisan group of senators“):
President Joe Biden said Thursday he has agreed to a deal on infrastructure with a bipartisan group of senators after White House officials and the senators had a massive breakthrough the night before in their infrastructure negotiations.
Both Republican and Democratic senators said Wednesday evening there was an agreement reached with White House officials and 10 senators on a bipartisan infrastructure deal. And on Thursday afternoon, Biden said he had signed off on the agreement.”To answer your direct question, we have a deal,” he said.
Though hurdles remain, the announced agreement is a significant development that could pave the way for passage of a chunk of Biden’s domestic agenda.
A lot of work remains on the policy and drafting side of the proposal. But Biden and his team have grown increasingly bullish on the pathway a bipartisan agreement lays out for moving the full scope of the President’s $4 trillion economic agenda.
Many details of the plan remain unclear. But the total cost of the plan is $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $559 billion in new spending, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
This proposal is significantly less than what Biden had initially proposed. The President initially put forward a $2.25 trillion plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and shift to greener energy over the next eight years. But after their late-night meeting on Wednesday with White House officials, Democratic leaders said they planned to move forward with a much larger Democratic-only approach to dramatically expand the social safety plan in addition to the bipartisan infrastructure plan.GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said the bipartisan proposal is fully paid for and offsets the new spending. How to pay for the proposal has been a major point of contention during the negotiations.
The bipartisan proposal agreed to on Wednesday would be approved through the typical legislative process, which means 60 votes would be needed to pass key procedural steps in a body divided 50-50 Democrats and Republicans.
Without more details, it remains to be seen whether this is a “win” for Biden and Democrats. Republicans managed to leverage a much smaller package that’s “paid for”—by whom or what we don’t know.
Obviously, Democrats could have gotten much more by either ramming this through on reconciliation or abolishing the filibuster. So, in that sense, it’s a loss. But it matters what the offset is.
Does this presage more Republican cooperation in the future? Doubtful. If not, it’s unclear what “bipartisanship” does for the majority.
Do Democrats simply ram the rest of the package through on reconciliation? If so, then “bipartisanship” is just a short-lived talking point.