Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican

President BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE on Tuesday cut off prolonged infrastructure negotiations with a GOP group led by Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBiden to return to pre-Obama water protections in first step for clean water regulations The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators 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 SinemaOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban Senate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge MORE (D-Ariz.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris Senate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama MORE (R-Ohio) and other Senate moderates, such as Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal MORE (D-Mont.), Bill CassidyBill CassidySenate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (R-La.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done MORE (D-W.Va.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (R-Alaska). The senators are aiming to release a proposal by the end of the week. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 ButtigiegChasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE and Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmEnergy chief touts electric vehicle funding in Senate plan OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Western wildfires prompt evacuations in California, Oregon| House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Granholm announces new building energy codes Granholm announces new building energy codes 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 SandersAngst grips America's most liberal city Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure 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 PsakiMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Hunter Biden blasts those criticizing price of his art: 'F--- 'em' MORE said Biden spoke with Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Schumer's moment to transform transit and deepen democracy 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.