White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure

White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure
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Top White House officials, including senior adviser Steve RicchettiSteve RicchettiTop Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure Biden adviser's brother lobbied National Security Council on GM's behalf Lobbyists with Biden ties enjoy surge in revenue, clients MORE and National Economic Council Director Brian DeeseBrian DeeseSunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Just 6.5 percent of rental aid has reached tenants, landlords: Treasury Trouble: IRS funding snags bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE, met with a group of Senate moderates Tuesday afternoon in hopes of making more progress on a bipartisan infrastructure package.

Republican and Democratic senators were tight-lipped leaving a meeting earlier in the day in Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal On The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban MORE’s (D-Ariz.) Hart Building office, and significant differences remain between the lawmakers and the White House on how to pay for a proposed package that would cost about $974 billion over five years.

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Democrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure MORE (D-Mont.) said shortly before a noontime vote that there are still several areas that need to be ironed out before reaching a deal, but he expressed optimism.

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“All positive, all bumpy,” he said after emerging from the first meeting with White House staff.

“We’re still going to continue,” he added.

A Republican lawmaker in the room said White House officials expressed the kind of objections one “would expect” to some of the proposed pay-fors but that the negotiators would continue to talk.

“The meeting goes on. We’re not done yet,” the GOP senator added.

As the Senate started a vote series around noon, a group of senators including Tester, Sinema, Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet On 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 MORE (R-Ohio), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE (D-Va.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal 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 MORE (D-N.H.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure Bill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol MORE (R-Maine) 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) headed down to the Capitol basement to meet with White House advisers in a group of hideaway offices clustered in a dimly lit hallway.

The meeting was paused when the Senate sounded the bell for the second of the midday vote series, leading to some confusion as administration officials and senators shuttled in and out of hideaway offices.

At one point, Tester popped his head out into the hallway looking for Warner’s hideaway, where Ricchetti was seen ducking in moments earlier.