- A group of 10 Democratic and Republican senators came up with an infrastructure plan that would cost about $ 1 trillion.
- The White House is evaluating the framework and has questions about both what is in the proposal and how lawmakers intend to pay for it.
- As the senators try to win support for their bipartisan plan, the Democrats are taking the first steps to pass an infrastructure law themselves.
(LR) US Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (D -AZ) take a break from an infrastructure meeting to vote on June 8, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
An infrastructure plan devised by a group of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate would cost about $ 1 trillion, a price that the Senators will work to attract members from both parties.
The proposal, which aims to modernize physical infrastructure like transportation and water systems, would cost $ 974 billion over five years or $ 1.2 trillion over eight years, a source familiar with the plan told CNBC. It would include $ 579 billion in new spending, above the baseline already set by Congress. Biden asked for around $ 600 billion in new money, according to Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La.
The senators have not disclosed how they intend to pay for the investment. The proposal “would be paid in full and would not include tax increases,” the 10 lawmakers who reached the deal said in a statement Thursday.
The group formulated their proposal as a compromise to modernize the US infrastructure with bipartisan support in Congress. The Senators have yet to win the support of President Joe Biden and the leaders of Congress for their plan to take off.
Read more about CNBC’s political coverage:
In a statement on the plan Thursday evening, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said “issues need to be addressed, particularly the details of both policy and pay among others”.
“Senior White House officials and the Cabinet of Jobs will work with the Senate group in the coming days to get answers to these questions as we consult with other members of the House and Senate as we move forward,” said he.
The White House told Senators that it was unwilling to pay a bill by either adjusting gas taxes for inflation or introducing a mileage tax on electric vehicles, NBC News reported Thursday. The measures would break Biden’s promise not to levy taxes on anyone who earns less than $ 400,000 a year.
It’s also unclear whether the spending will be broad enough to keep Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, or Progressives impatient with Biden’s efforts to find a bipartisan deal have become to win. While Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Said he wanted to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, he has also signaled that he intended to block important parts of Biden’s economic agenda.
Schumer and Pelosis offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A McConnell spokesman did not respond immediately.
The Democrats are working on more than one front to pass an infrastructure bill and implement the first part of Biden’s agenda for economic recovery. While the White House is considering the bipartisan proposal, Democrats have begun other ways to pave the way for the passage of parts of the president’s $ 2.3 trillion US employment plan.
One instrument is the five-year land transport funding proposal of $ 547 billion presented this week by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Democrats could use the move, which the House of Representatives could vote on later this month, to endorse parts of Biden’s agenda.
Biden has also urged Schumer and Pelosi to move forward with a budget resolution to set up the reconciliation process. That way, the Democrats could pass an infrastructure bill without Republican support.
The path seems to be closed for the time being. Senator Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat whose votes the party would need if the Senate were to split 50-50, has said he wants to pass bipartisan law.
Manchin is one of the 10 negotiators in the Senate group.
It is unclear whether Democratic leaders would accept the bipartisan plan’s lack of spending on so-called human infrastructure, such as Biden’s plan to expand care for elderly and disabled Americans. The party could potentially feed these proposals into a separate bill based on Biden’s American Families Plan. The proposal focuses on childcare, education and health care.
Democrats have argued that in addition to physical infrastructure, the country needs to upgrade nursing programs, as both would help Americans get back to work.
Biden has also called for the corporate tax rate to be raised to at least 25% to pay for the first part of his recovery plan. However, Republicans said they would not change their 2017 tax law, which cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.
Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.