President Biden said Monday that he’s not simply going through the motions by meeting with congressional Republicans on his massive $2.3 trillion infrastructure package and that he’s willing to compromise on the plan.
“I’m not big on window dressing, as you’ve observed,” Mr. Biden told reporters at a White House gathering with members of both parties.
He said he’s prepared to negotiate the scope of the package and how to pay for it, which at this point consists of an estimated $2.5 trillion in corporate tax hikes.
“There’s a lot of folks saying that the fact that we have millions of people not able to drink water because it’s coming through lead pipes — I think that’s infrastructure,” the president said. “I think broadband is infrastructure. It’s not just roads, bridges, highways, et cetera.”
“That’s what we’re going to talk about and I’m confident everything is going to work out perfectly,” he said to some laughter.
Republicans have balked at the tax hikes Mr. Biden is proposing to pay for the plan and said much of the spending is directed toward longtime Democratic party priorities — not fixing the country’s transportation infrastructure.
The Democrats on the guest list for Monday’s meeting were Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Alex Padilla of California, as well as Reps. Donald M. Payne Jr. of New Jersey and David Price of North Carolina.
The Republicans were Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, along with Reps. Garret Graves of Louisiana and Don Young of Alaska.
All the members in attendance are or have been top-ranking members on the committees or subcommittees with jurisdiction over parts of the proposal.
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