Biden Announces Bipartisan Deal on $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
June 24, 2021Politics
Biden Announces Bipartisan Deal on $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
President Joe Biden speaks about the infrastructure deal from the East Room of the White House in Washington on June 24, 2021. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the White House struck a deal with a bipartisan group of senators on an infrastructure plan after weeks of talks.

Biden appeared alongside a group of lawmakers, including Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and others.

“To answer the direct question, we have a deal,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “We have made serious compromises on both ends.”

It came after senators for weeks worked to craft a package that would garner enough support from both Republicans and Democrats. According to a fact sheet released by the White House on Thursday, the bill would be worth approximately $1.2 trillion and would make investments in “clean transportation infrastructure” as well as “clean power infrastructure” and the “remediation of legacy pollution.”

According to drafts of the agreement, lawmakers sought $579 billion of spending above expected federal levels that totals $974 billion over five years and $1.2 trillion if it continues over eight years.

But despite the bipartisan agreement announcement, it’s not yet clear if certain Democrats or Republicans would support it.

“They have my word. I’ll stick with what we’ve proposed, and they’ve given me their word as well,” Biden also said. “None of us got all that we wanted. I didn’t get all that I wanted. But this reminds me of the days we used to get an awful lot done up in the United States Congress.”

Biden had also proposed a related package known as the American Families Plan, which calls for another $1.8 trillion in spending on education, child care, and other priorities. During the White House event, Biden said he is hopeful there would be a compromise.

“We’ll see what happens in the reconciliation bill, the budget process, and if we can get some compromise there—and if we can’t, see if I can attract all the Democrats to a position that is there, but we’re going to move on a dual track,” Biden said.

Immediately after Biden’s announcement, some Democrats criticized the measure as being too small as they sought a multi-trillion dollar package that would include more funding for climate-related initiatives and child care measures.

The current deal is “way too small. Paltry, pathetic,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to news outlets. “It has to be combined with a second much more robust, adequate package, to be deserving of a vote, and I am very hopeful that it will be followed by another package,” he added.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in signaling she’s not happy with Biden’s announcement, told reporters that “we have to have the whole thing, not just not just cleave off a little piece of it.”

But Portman, one of the Republicans who supports the bipartisan agreement, said Thursday that it’s important that Democrats and Republicans were “able to come together on a core infrastructure package.”

And Manchin also praised the deal, saying it is a “tremendous opportunity for us to show the rest of the world that we can still get big things done in a bipartisan way.”

From The Epoch Times

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