U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday proposed a $568 billion, five-year infrastructure package as a counteroffer to President Joe Biden's sweeping $2.3 trillion plan, calling their measure a good-faith effort toward bipartisan negotiations.
[SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO] “This is a robust package” U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday proposed a five-year, $568 billion infrastructure package as a counter to President Joe Biden's sweeping $2.3 trillion plan.
West Virginia senator Shelley Moore Capito said their measure was a reasonable starting point for bipartisan negotiations.
“I think it's important for all of you to realize that this is the largest infrastructure investment that Republicans have come forward with.
We see this as an offer that's on the table and deserves a response.
And i think we will get a response.” The proposal, which falls below an initial Republican target range of $600 billion to $800 billion, focuses narrowly on traditional infrastructure projects including roads, bridges, rail, ports, water systems and broadband access.
It would not result in higher taxes but be fully paid for through user fees and unspent federal funds.
Republicans sent the proposal to the White House on Thursday before it was unveiled.
But the package, which represents less than one-quarter of the Biden package, has already been dismissed by Democrats in Congress as inadequate.
Biden proposed a sweeping infrastructure plan that not only includes traditional infrastructure projects but also addresses climate change and expands human services such as elder care.
Republicans have opposed the size and scope of the Biden proposal, as well as its plan to pay for spending by raising taxes on U.S. corporations.
Thursday's proposal could form the basis of a two-track infrastructure process that would include a smaller bipartisan bill and a larger measure that Democrats could move through Congress without Republican votes.