Biden will ‘change course’ on infrastructure if GOP talks stall

A White House adviser on Sunday mentioned President Biden will “change course” on his infrastructure deal if negotiations stall with Republicans — whereas GOP Rep. Susan Collins mentioned “fundamental differences” between the 2 sides stay.

“He wants a deal. He wants it soon, but if there’s meaningful negotiations taking place in a bipartisan manner, he’s willing to let that play out,” Cedric Richmond mentioned on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“But again, he will not let inaction be the answer. And when he gets to the point where it looks like that is inevitable, you’ll see him change course,” he mentioned Sunday.

Richmond mentioned the administration continues to be pursuing a bipartisan deal and pointed to the White House’s counteroffer to the GOP infrastructure deal as proof it was prepared to “negotiate in good faith.”

He was requested by CNN host Dana Bash if Biden would “narrow his plans” additional.

“The president coming down $550 billion off of his initial proposal I think shows the willingness to negotiate in good faith and in a serious manner. And the real question is whether the Republicans will meet the effort that the president is showing,” Richmond mentioned.

The White House on Friday proposed a pared down $1.7 trillion infrastructure invoice from its unique $2.23 trillion plan to counter a Republican provide of $560 billion.

Cedric Richmond
Cedric Richmond
Bloomberg through Getty Images

But Collins (R-Maine) mentioned Republicans and Democrats usually are not solely far aside on the price of the plan however on how every celebration views infrastructure.

“I think negotiations should continue, but it’s important to note that there are some fundamental differences here, and at the heart of the negotiations is defining the scope of the bill. What is infrastructure?” she mentioned on ABC News’ “This Week.”

“We, Republicans, tend to define infrastructure in terms of roads, bridges, seaports and airports and broadband. The Democratic definition seems to include social programs that have never been considered part of core infrastructure,” she added.

Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Susan Collins
Getty Images

Collins mentioned a lot of what’s within the invoice is already included in a invoice launched final yr.

“I was glad that the president put a counteroffer on the table, but if you look closely at it, what he’s proposing to do is move a lot of the spending to a bill that’s already on the Senate floor, the Endless Frontier’s bill. So I think we’re still pretty far apart, but this is the test,” Collins mentioned. “This will determine whether or not we can work together in a bipartisan way on an important issue.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) agreed that the query of what must be included in an infrastructure invoice is slowing debate as time runs out.

“I think the president would like to get there on a bipartisan deal. Our biggest gap is not the money. Our biggest gap is defining what infrastructure is,” he mentioned on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I do think we’ve got about a week or 10 days to decide if we can work together on this or not. I’d like to. I believe the president would like to. The number is too big because the scope of what the White House staff wants to call infrastructure is way too big,” Blunt, one of many Republicans on the negotiating staff mentioned.

Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/S

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wouldn’t rule out utilizing the Senate process of reconciliation to permit Democrats to move the measure with a easy majority vote if crucial.

“We would like bipartisanship, but I don’t think we have a seriousness on the part of the Republican leadership to address the major crisis facing this country. And if they’re not coming forward, we’ve got to go forward alone,” Sanders mentioned on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

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