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Biden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push

President Biden will hold a meeting next week with six Republican senators as he looks to pass his sprawling infrastructure plan through Congress. 

A White House official confirmed that Biden will meet Thursday with GOP Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Senate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office MORE (W.Va.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoObama land management chief says Biden nominee should withdraw over tree-spiking incident Juan Williams: Trump's GOP descends into farce Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (Wyo.), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntCongress barrels toward debt cliff Excellence Act will expand mental health and substance use treatment access to millions Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 MORE (Mo.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoInflation concerns spark new political fights Yellen confident rising inflation won't be 'permanent' On The Money: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process on Wednesday | Four states emerge as test case for cutting off jobless benefits MORE (Idaho), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (Pa.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerSen. Manchin paves way for a telehealth revolution Senate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office Overnight Defense: Pentagon details military construction projects getting .2B restored from wall funds | Biden chooses former commander to lead Navy | Bill seeks to boost visa program for Afghans who helped US MORE (Miss.).

“The president appreciates their engagement and the ongoing dialogue on this high priority, and is looking forward to speaking with the group,” the official said. 

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That meeting will come a day after Biden huddles with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi quashes reports on Jan. 6 select committee Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed On The Money: Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall | Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerWhite House draws ire of progressives amid voting rights defeat Murkowski to vote 'no' on voting rights bill Harris to preside over Senate for voting rights debate MORE (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP blocks voting rights bill Schumer, McConnell spar as GOP prepares to block voting bill Trump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHillicon Valley: Cyber agency says SolarWinds hack could have been deterred | Civil rights groups urge lawmakers to crack down on Amazon's 'dangerous' worker surveillance | Manchin-led committee puts forth sprawling energy infrastructure proposal Chuck Todd reluctant to 'ban' election deniers from 'Meet the Press' GOP divided over bills targeting tech giants MORE (R-Calif.) to discuss the same $2.25 trillion proposal.

“They will have a dialogue about policy areas of mutual agreement and identifying common ground on which they can work together and deliver results on the challenges facing American families,” the White House official said. 

“The president is eager to talk in person with the Congressional leaders about how they can partner on the goals of restoring trust in government, ensuring that government delivers for the American people, and keeping the nation safe and competitive in the world — especially as the nation continues to sacrifice to defeat the pandemic and we turn our economy around after the worst downturn since the Great Depression," they added.

Democrats and Republicans remain at loggerheads over how to pay for Biden’s sweeping proposal, which would repair 20,000 miles of roads and 10,000 bridges, expand broadband access to rural and underserved communities, replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines to ensure clean water, invest in research and development and manufacturing, and expand access to home and community-based care.

The president is seeking to pay for the plan by hiking the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, which the White House says will pay for the investments over a 15-year period.

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Republicans, meanwhile, are adamant that no taxes be raised to pay for the plan, but have expressed openness to working with Biden on a compromise.

The Senate GOP, led by Capito, has come back with a plan coming in at under $600 billion that would focus more on boosting traditional infrastructure issues such as bridges and roads as well as expanding broadband. 

“Senate Republicans have a targeted and responsible infrastructure plan. If the President will work with us, infrastructure is something we can and should be able to do in a bipartisan way. What there isn't any appetite for in our conference is a tax increase on job creators,” Wicker said in a statement to The Hill. “I look forward to hearing what the President has to say.” 

Biden and Capito spoke last week on infrastructure, with the White House saying the two “had a warm, friendly conversation and continued their dialogue about infrastructure and jobs, reiterating their willingness to negotiate.”