Biden's Infrastructure Targets Shift as Negotiations Commence

The Biden administration announced late last week that they would reduce the spending proposed in the American Jobs Plan from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion, although there is some question about the true significance of those changes.

2 minute read

May 23, 2021, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Biden Administration

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"The Biden White House said on Friday that it was reducing the proposed price tag for its infrastructure plan from $2.25 trillion in 'additional investment' to $1.7 trillion in an attempt to win Republican support," report Ben Leonard, Christopher, and Natasha Korecki.

The Biden administration is presenting the countereffort as an effort to forge a bipartisan deal for the package of spending programs and reforms included in the American Jobs Plan, as proposed in March 2021.

The article includes some detail about the ground the Biden administration ceded with this negotiation ploy.

The fine print makes clear, however, that the concessions the administration was willing to make were not that dramatic as the top line numbers suggest. That’s because they proposed “shifting” spending on research and development, small business, supply chains and manufacturing into other proposals, including the Endless Frontier Act and the CHIPS Act, Psaki said.

According to the article, the changes are unlikely to satisfy Republicans, as details of the proposed cuts further elucidate:

The new Biden infrastructure proposal also would cut broadband spending to match the Republicans' latest offer, and cut investment in "roads, bridges and major projects" to get closer to the Republicans’ bottom line — a point one administration official involved in the talks called ironic given the GOP’s insistence that the package focus heavily on improving “core” infrastructure — but a concession nonetheless.

Earlier in the week, Republicans on the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee proposed a $400 billion package that would reauthorize the five-year federal surface transportation bill, according to an article by David Shepardson, in addition to serving as a counteroffer to the American Jobs Plan.

Additional new reporting on the Biden counteroffer is available from Jarret Renshaw and Jeff Mason for Reuters.

Friday, May 21, 2021 in Politico

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