Warren says GOP infrastructure proposal not 'a serious counteroffer'

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

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley — Presented by Connected Commerce Council — Incident reporting language left out of package Exporting gas means higher monthly energy bills for American families Senators turn up the heat on Amazon, data brokers during hearing 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 BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale 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 CapitoOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Biden may get reprieve with gas price drop McConnell faces GOP pushback on debt deal Stabenow calls for expansion of school mental health services 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 PsakiAustralia joins US in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics Biden Supreme Court study panel unanimously approves final report White House: Biden would veto GOP resolution to nix vaccine mandate 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.”