Warren says GOP infrastructure proposal not 'a serious counteroffer'

Warren says GOP infrastructure proposal not 'a serious counteroffer'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOver 80 lawmakers urge Biden to release memo outlining his authority on student debt cancellation Kelly pushes back on Arizona Democrats' move to censure Sinema Fiscal conservatives should support postal reform  MORE (D-Mass.) on Thursday dismissed the Senate GOP's $928 billion infrastructure proposal, taking a much tougher tone than the White House.

Warren argued the GOP plan is not “a serious counteroffer” to President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE's proposal.

She specifically criticized Republicans for not spelling out how they'd pay for their proposal.

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“First of all, they don't have pay force for this, it's not real. They have this illusory notion of how we're going to take money that's already been committed to other places and other spending,” Warren said during an appearance on MSNBC.

She also said the Republican proposal, spearheaded by Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law Lobbying world Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster  MORE (R-W.Va.), does not focus enough on “green infrastructure.”

“Second part is I'm not hearing about the green infrastructure, about the importance of when we make these investments that we're talking about moving our buses to electric, our school buses to electric, our mass transit to electric, so that we're bringing down our carbon footprint and whether or not they put enough money in to do this,” Warren added.

Warren also claimed that the GOP proposal would leave behind women because it does not invest in child care.

“Millions of women are out of the workforce right now and one out of four says the reason? I can't get child care,” Warren said.

“We were in a crisis before the pandemic hit, it only got worse during the pandemic. This is our chance to expand our idea of what infrastructure means. Give women who want to work or real chance in the workplace,” she added.

The White House was more positive in its response, though it said it had concerns with parts of the $928 billion infrastructure counterproposal

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia Briefing in brief: Biden committed to naming Black woman to Supreme Court Biden signs order criminalizing military sexual harassment MORE on Thursday said it was “encouraging” to see Senate Republicans propose a package with a “substantially increased” funding level.

The GOP's new plan is substantially more than its initial $568 billion proposal introduced in April, but still falls far short of the $1.7 trillion counteroffer White House officials made last week.

Psaki said, however, that the White House is “concerned” that the plan does not provide funding for “critical job-creating needs,” including fixing veteran hospitals, building modern rail systems, repairing transit systems, removing dangerous lead pipes and “powering America’s leadership in a job-creating clean energy economy.”

Psaki also said the administration was concerned there was not proposal for how to pay for the plan.

Capito on Thursday said the Republican counteroffer largely reflects what President Biden told GOP negotiators during a meeting at the White House: that the bill had to be closer to $1 trillion to get his support.

“We believe this counteroffer delivers on what President Biden told us in the Oval Office that day, and that is to try to reach somewhere near $1 trillion over an eight-year period of time that would include our baseline spending,” Capito said. “We have achieved that goal with this counteroffer.”