GOP senators proposed $928 billion in infrastructure spending on Thursday as an alternative to the $2 trillion plan President Joe Biden pitched in March.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki made clear the administration's concern that the new proposal "still provides no substantial new funds for critical job-creating needs" and fails to spell out how Republicans would pay for the programs. "I told her we'd have to finish this very soon", he said, adding that he will meet with her and other Republicans next week.
"Lastly, we are concerned that the proposal on how to pay for the plan remains unclear: we are anxious that major cuts in COVID relief funds could imperil pending aid to small businesses, restaurants and rural hospitals using this money to get back on their feet after the crush of the pandemic".
The president is seeking Republican support for his next big legislative initiative on infrastructure, but the White House and Republican lawmakers remain far apart on cost and other details. "They like infrastructure, all the states like infrastructure".
The offer was only one page long, and did not contain specifics about how to pay for the investments. The White House has proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28% to drum up funds for infrastructure, but that idea is a nonstarter for Republicans.
Biden's latest offer to Republicans landed at $1.7 trillion, which is $600 billion less than his original offer.
"I'm happy they know that it benefited their constituents".
Asked on CNBC if the counteroffer, spearheaded by Sen.
The counteroffer, Capito says, allocates funding for physical infrastructure like roads and bridges, arguing that so-called "human infrastructure" in the White House's deal - such as elder care and child care - is not what the American people want. "We'd like to get an outcome on a significant infrastructure package". The group has maintained a strong stance against Biden's tax hikes and have continued to advocate for the reallocation of unused COVID-19 funds.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said the small group of Republicans believe their counteroffer is the right step towards a bipartisan compromise.
Biden renews COVID-19 origin probe that's so far come up empty
The natural origin hypothesis holds that the virus emerged in bats then passed to humans, likely via an intermediary species. He also warned that uncertainty may persist, noting that the origin of the 2014 Ebola outbreak still isn't fully understood.