Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure

Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerManchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiManchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy Ocasio-Cortez: Democrats can't blame GOP for end of eviction moratorium MORE (D-Calif.) will meet with White House officials on Wednesday to talk about the path forward on infrastructure.

Schumer told Senate Democrats during their closed-door caucus lunch on Tuesday that he and Pelosi will meet with the officials to discuss both a budget resolution that could pave the way for moving a bill through the Senate with just Democratic votes and bipartisan talks, a Senate Democratic source told The Hill.

The meeting comes as Democratic leadership is trying to balance the bipartisan talks with a growing push from many within the caucus to cut the cord and move forward on their own with a larger package that could be passed under budgetary rules and avoid a filibuster.

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The talks are linked because some centrist Democrats prefer a bipartisan package, and it's not clear all of those centrists would back a larger budget package. Democrats can't afford a single defection in the Senate from their party if such a package is to get to President BidenJoe BidenGOP report on COVID-19 origins homes in on lab leak theory READ: The .2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Senators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session MORE's desk without GOP support.

The White House is ramping up its outreach as the bipartisan talks reach a make-or-break moment.

White House officials are meeting with the bipartisan group on Tuesday at the Capitol, and Biden spoke with centrist Sens. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Schumer: Democrats 'on track' to pass bipartisan deal, .5T budget Ocasio-Cortez: 'More than enough' votes to prevent infrastructure from passing without reconciliation bill MORE (D-Ariz.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Manchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' Schumer: Democrats 'on track' to pass bipartisan deal, .5T budget MORE (D-W.Va.) on Monday.

The bipartisan group unveiled a framework that would include spending roughly $1.2 trillion over eight years.

But they are still working to lock down how to pay for it amid pushback from Democrats over indexing the gas tax to inflation and repurposing some of the previously allocated coronavirus relief funds. Democrats have floated the idea of using stepped-up IRS enforcement as a way to cover the bill's cost.

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And they broke their second round of talks on Tuesday without an agreement. The Senate will leave town for two weeks on Thursday.

In addition to the bipartisan talks, a growing number of Senate Democrats are ready to try to go it alone on a sweeping infrastructure proposal under reconciliation, a budget process that allows them to bypass the 60-vote filibuster.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Bipartisan infrastructure win shows Democrats must continue working across the aisle 'The land is us' — Tribal activist turns from Keystone XL to Line 3 MORE (I-Vt.) is eyeing crafting a budget resolution, the first step in the go-it-alone approach, that would greenlight up to $6 trillion for the infrastructure package. It's likely some Democratic senators will be uncomfortable with such a price tag.

Schumer reiterated on Tuesday that he wants to write both the bipartisan bill and the budget resolution that starts the process for a second, Democratic-only bill in July.

"They are going to move together concurrently. We hope to have votes on both of them in July," Schumer said.