Biden adviser: Infrastructure counterproposal shows 'willingness to negotiate in good faith'

Biden adviser: Infrastructure counterproposal shows 'willingness to negotiate in good faith'
© Bonnie Cash

Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondBlack Caucus meets with White House over treatment of Haitian migrants The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Questions on Biden agenda; unemployment benefits to end Sunday shows - Biden domestic agenda, Texas abortion law dominate MORE, a senior adviser to President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE, said the administration’s counterproposal on infrastructure illustrates a “willingness to negotiate in good faith.”

When asked by host Dana BashDana BashManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report House is no easy road for Biden, Democrats on .5T package Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Manchin: key energy provision of spending package 'makes no sense' MORE on CNN’s "State of the Union" if Biden is willing to “narrow his plans and his scope even further” to land a bipartisan deal on infrastructure, Richmond highlighted the administration’s counterproposal, which decreased their initial plan by $550 billion.

“The president coming down $550 billion off of his initial proposal I think shows the willingness to negotiate in good faith and in a serious manner. And the real question is whether the Republicans will meet the effort that the president is showing," Richmond said.

The White House on Friday presented a $1.7 trillion infrastructure counterproposal to Republicans, a shift from the administration’s initial $2.25 trillion package.

The administration offered to reduce funding for broadband expansion to $65 billion to match a Republican offer spearheaded by Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Capito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization MORE (R-W.Va.).

The new package also reduced proposed investments in roads, bridges and other major infrastructure projects from $159 billion to $120 billion. That amount, however, is still above the $48 billion originally proposed by Republicans.

Republicans have also expressed opposition to what the administration has dubbed “human infrastructure,” which includes investments in areas like child and elderly care.

When pressed by Bash on if Biden is willing to compromise on other aspects of the bill, Richmond refused to make any concessions.

“The president is very clear, and many of the business leaders around the country are clear, that the country has to compete for the future, and electric vehicles are important to the president so it's in there and he did not come down on that. And the human investment is important to the president,” Richmond said.

“And so the red lines that the president has dictated, he will not raise taxes on people who make less than $400,000 a year, he will not let inaction be the final answer and he's going to continue to invest in the American people in the infrastructure so that we can win tomorrow,” Richmond added.