Even though negotiations continue to be slow, the White House remains somewhat optimistic that a major infrastructure bill can be signed into law over the next few months.
The Biden administration sees at least three paths to getting a measure to the president’s desk. One is continued communications with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). Capito is the top Republican negotiator in the Senate, where the GOP recently released its version of an infrastructure bill that fell just short of $1 trillion. Capito and President Biden are expected to meet again on June 9. The two sides, however, do not see eye to eye on several issues. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, President Biden took $1 trillion off his original $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan. The Republican Senate, however, responded with a miniscule increase in their plan.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers also continue to talk in small groups, which could lead to some progress.
A third option is the INVEST in America Act, which is being marked up by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Lawmakers have just started on the bill, but it supposedly will resemble Biden’s American Jobs Plan with investments in roads, bridges and public transit at the forefront. The Biden administration could lean heavily on the House bill in the hopes a middle ground could be found with the Senate.
Psake said Biden’s plan also could be broken up and passed in pieces.