Biden talks reconciliation with Schumer as infrastructure negotiations falter

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President Biden spoke with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday about moving forward with the budget reconciliation process as a potential pathway to get his $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal passed this summer, the White House said.

The phone call came as bipartisan infrastructure negotiations between Biden and a group of Republicans led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) collapsed after both sides failed to come together on an agreement.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that Biden spoke with Schumer to “discuss the need to commence work on the budget resolution process so that legislation to advance the President’s economic priorities and tax reform plans could move to the Senate floor in July.”

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

The conversation was one of several that Biden had with lawmakers on Tuesday about the path forward for his infrastructure proposal, named the American Jobs Plan by the White House.

While Biden has not committed to passing his infrastructure proposal using budget reconciliation — which would allow Democrats to approve his plans without Republican support — the statement suggested he is inching closer to doing so as bipartisan negotiations falter. Democrats used the same process to pass Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill in March without a single GOP vote.

Biden is now expected to shift to negotiations with a bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in pursuit of a potential deal that could gain Republican support. But he’s unlikely to allow negotiations to drag on for too long, given his hope to pass his legislation before Democrats leave Washington for the August recess.

Biden is expected to engage with the senators while on his first foreign trip in Europe over the next week, and senior administration and White House officials are expected to meet with members of the group in person back in Washington.

Schumer, who said earlier Tuesday that talks with the bipartisan group appeared more promising, plans to move forward on Biden’s infrastructure proposal in July regardless of whether the legislation is bipartisan.

Tags Bill Cassidy Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Infrastructure Jen Psaki Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Reconciliation Shelley Moore Capito
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