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Biden rejects new GOP offer as spending talks drag on

President BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE on Friday rejected the latest GOP offer on infrastructure during a phone call with Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale In Europe, Biden seeks to reassert U.S. climate leadership Antsy Democrats warn of infrastructure time crunch MORE (R-W.Va.), according to the White House, though the two agreed to speak again next week.

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiFive states have yet to administer one dose of vaccine to half their populations Biden has convinced allies 'America is back,' says France's Macron Biden, Macron huddle on sidelines of G7 summit MORE said in a statement that Capito raised Republicans’ current offer by $50 billion and that while Biden “expressed his gratitude for her effort and goodwill” he also “indicated that the current offer did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs.” 

Psaki said that Biden informed the GOP senator he would engage Republican and Democratic senators “in hopes of achieving a more substantial package.”

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Biden and Capito agreed to speak again Monday, according to both the White House and Capito’s office, which also put out a brief readout of the call Friday afternoon.

Biden, who has engaged with Capito and other Republicans for weeks in hopes of a bipartisan deal on infrastructure, is coming under growing pressure from progressives to abandon the discussions and move forward with his $2.25 trillion plan, using budget reconciliation so that Democrats can pass it without GOP votes.

Republicans had previously offered a $928 billion counterproposal that included about $260 billion in new spending. Biden, in an Oval Office meeting with Capito on Wednesday, proposed a plan that includes $1 trillion spending on infrastructure and floated the idea of a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations to pay for it.

Despite inching closer to one another, both sides remain in disagreement on the scope of the proposal and how to pay for it.

It’s unclear how much longer Biden will continue talks with Capito or other Republicans given the lack of progress. Some Democratic sources believe he will look to make a decision on whether to cut a deal or abandon them by mid-June.

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Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican MORE had indicated Monday there was a deadline for real progress, though Psaki on Thursday refuted this notion. 

Her statement Friday indicates that Biden could look to engage with a second group of bipartisan lawmakers on a potential agreement. Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinMaher goes after Manchin: 'Most powerful Republican in the Senate' It's not just Manchin: No electoral mandate stalls Democrats' leftist agenda Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema MORE (D-W.Va.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt Romney Eugene Goodman to throw out first pitch at Nationals game White House briefed on bipartisan infrastructure deal but says questions remain On The Money: Consumer prices jumped 5 percent annually in May | GOP senators say bipartisan group has infrastructure deal MORE (R-Utah) are said to be among a group of lawmakers who may pitch another infrastructure proposal.

Manchin, who Biden would need on board were he to move forward with reconciliation, indicated in interviews Thursday that he does not currently support Democrats passing infrastructure on their own.

 

Biden also spoke with Rep. Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioHouse moderates unveil .25T infrastructure plan This week: Democrats set to begin chaotic three-week sprint Biden rejects new GOP offer as spending talks drag on MORE (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, on Friday after he unveiled a $547 billion surface transportation bill that includes many of the priorities laid out in Biden’s $2.25 trillion jobs plan. Biden expressed support for DeFazio’s plans to mark up the bill next week on Wednesday, Psaki said. 

—Updated at 6:26 p.m.