Biden will have to prove his willingness to cooperate with Republicans in Congress.
In this regard, the Democratic president will probably have to prove his willingness to cooperate with Republicans in Congress, which he has repeatedly stated since taking office. Biden appears to be losing political capital among a group of Senate Republicans led by Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, whose support would allow him to win enough votes from both parties to pass an infrastructure initiative.
Biden also can’t afford to lose the votes of anyone among the Democrats since their preponderance in the House and Senate is not large enough.
As previously planned, the president is meeting at the White House on Monday with representatives of Republicans and Democrats from both houses of Congress to discuss further steps to develop infrastructure.
According to an anonymous White House source, the president and senior administration officials briefed Republican lawmakers on the details of the plan even before it was announced publicly. “”He is enthusiastic about continuing to be in close contact with both sides about this historic investment in our country,” the source said.
But more and more Republicans are accusing Biden of having no genuine interest in working with them. Earlier, the president managed to pass through Congress a large package of economic assistance connected with the coronavirus pandemic without the support of Republicans.
“Unfortunately, the president misleads the public at every stage of the consideration of every major bill that he has sent to Congress. The pandemic aid bill wasn’t really about the pandemic. This infrastructure bill is not really about infrastructure,” said Congressman Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee.
Biden can expect a skeptical reaction from the 10 Republican senators who negotiated with him on the fiscal package but failed to achieve a reduction in the final amount. Last week, Biden accused them of being unwilling to compromise. “I would be willing to compromise, but they are not. They haven’t moved an inch,” he said.
As a result, the Democrats managed to circumvent the objections of the Republicans with a procedural maneuver.
A White House source noted that the economic aid package required urgent adoption due to the crisis situation, and negotiations on the infrastructure plan can be conducted in a more relaxed mode.
According to lawmakers ‘ aides, Republicans favor a more targeted approach to the task of infrastructure modernization, funded by user fees and tax breaks, rather than by raising taxes, as Biden suggests.
At the same time, Democratic leaders do not show a willingness to make concessions and reduce the scope of Biden’s proposal. According to Democratic Senator Chris Coons, the president is ready to negotiate with Republicans until the end of May and then move forward without their support.
“When considering legislative initiatives, you should always listen to all sides and think about where you can find common ground, but you need to think big. You can’t think big enough when it comes to the greatness of America,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who intends to pass the Biden package by July 4.