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Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican

President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE on Tuesday cut off prolonged infrastructure negotiations with a GOP group led by Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGAO rules Biden freeze on border wall funds legal How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress GOP senator introduces constitutional amendment to ban flag burning MORE (R-W.Va.) and will instead move forward on discussions with a bipartisan group of senators.

The White House announced Biden’s move after the president and Capito spoke Tuesday afternoon. The two remained far apart on a deal during that discussion despite weeks of talks. The White House as a result is shifting to talks with a bipartisan group that is crafting its own proposal, an administration official confirmed.

Members of the bipartisan group include Sens. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaSenate to hold hearing on DC statehood bill Progressives threaten to block bipartisan infrastructure proposal Hundreds in West Virginia protest Manchin's opposition to voting rights legislation MORE (D-Ariz.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Senators introducing B bill to help narrow digital divide How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress MORE (R-Ohio) and other Senate moderates, such as Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterHow Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress Pelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats MORE (D-Mont.), Bill CassidyBill CassidyHow Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress Pelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship MORE (R-La.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC US, EU pledge to work together on climate amid reported dissension on coal Senate to hold hearing on DC statehood bill MORE (D-W.Va.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHundreds in West Virginia protest Manchin's opposition to voting rights legislation How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress Senate confirms Garland's successor to appeals court MORE (R-Alaska). The senators are aiming to release a proposal by the end of the week. 

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The president began speaking with members of the bipartisan coalition on Tuesday, and he will engage with those lawmakers while in Europe for the next week. Cabinet officials such as Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: 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 MORE and Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOvernight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve Biden administration eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland reportedly recommends full restoration of monuments Trump altered | EPA to reinstate air pollution panel disbanded under Trump | State appeals court upholds approval of Minnesota pipeline MORE will also take a leading role, an administration official said.

The end of talks between Biden and Capito marks a significant shift in the months-long effort from the White House to secure Republican buy-in on an infrastructure package. Some progressives, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC Zombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Progressives threaten to block bipartisan infrastructure proposal MORE (I-Vt.), have expressed skepticism the administration would ever win over the 10 GOP votes needed in the Senate to overcome the filibuster.

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiLawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cybersecurity during summit with Putin Fox's John Roberts says for media, no Biden-Putin presser is a loss Harris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety, efficacy in SC event to kick off tour MORE said Biden spoke with Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday about the potential for using the budget reconciliation process to pass parts of Biden's jobs plan next month. Reconciliation would likely require dropping aspects of Biden’s proposal due to parliamentary rules, but it would only require a simple majority to pass both chambers of Congress.

“The President is committed to moving his economic legislation through Congress this summer, and is pursuing multiple paths to get this done,” Psaki said in a statement.

Biden and Capito have spoken by phone or in person several times since the president unveiled his $2.2 trillion American Jobs Plan in late March. Capito, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, has led a group of GOP senators in talks.

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The administration official stressed that Capito participated in negotiations in good faith, and that Biden “has a very positive opinion of her.” The West Virginia Republican would be a welcome member of bipartisan talks moving forward, the official said.

The administration official noted that Biden came down nearly $1 trillion from his original proposal, while the Republican group offered only $330 billion in new investments, a $150 billion increase from when talks started. 

The two main sticking points ended up being the GOP group's refusal to significantly increase the amount of new investments, instead relying on repurposed funding from the COVID-19 economic rescue plan signed into law earlier this year, as well as Republicans' inability to specify ways to pay for the package. Biden has proposed increasing the corporate tax rate and taxes on the wealthiest Americans, while Republicans have balked at tax increases in general.

“From Day One, the President has been clear that he has two red lines: He will not raise taxes on Americans who make under $400,000, and he will not accept inaction as the outcome,” Psaki said Tuesday.

Capito in a statement said the discussions were always respectful and candid, but she expressed disappointment at Biden's decision to cut off negotiations. She asserted the president had previously indicated he was amenable to a deal in the neighborhood of $1 trillion, something White House officials have disputed.

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“While I appreciate President Biden’s willingness to devote so much time and effort to these negotiations, he ultimately chose not to accept the very robust and targeted infrastructure package, and instead, end our discussions,” Capito said in a statement on Tuesday.

“However, this does not mean bipartisanship isn’t feasible,” Capito added. “The Senate EPW Committee continues to demonstrate bipartisan action on infrastructure. In a one-month period, our committee passed a bipartisan water and wastewater infrastructure bill out of the Senate and passed a surface transportation bill unanimously out of committee. Moving forward, I will continue building on this momentum and working with my colleagues to advance bipartisan solutions like these.”

The White House this week made clear it sees other paths to passing an infrastructure package beyond the talks that were stalling with Capito.

Psaki pointed to the bipartisan talks taking place on Capitol Hill, as well as the individual infrastructure bills making their way through Congress that have overlap with Biden's American Jobs Plan.