WORLD Biden rejects new Republican offer, to continue infrastructure talks next week

WORLD

Biden rejects new Republican offer, to continue infrastructure talks next week

Xinhua

09:13, June 05, 2021

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday rejected a new Republican infrastructure counteroffer, but will continue talks with Republicans next week.

President Joe Biden talks about the May jobs report from the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo: AP)

During a phone call with the president Friday, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the top Republican negotiator, proposed a new offer to increase about 50 billion U.S. dollars in spending across a number of infrastructure programs, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"The President expressed his gratitude for her effort and goodwill, but also indicated that the current offer did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs," Psaki said.

"He indicated to Senator Capito that he would continue to engage a number of Senators in both parties in the hopes of achieving a more substantial package," Psaki said, adding the two sides agreed to speak again on Monday.

Republicans had previously offered a 928-billion-dollar infrastructure counteroffer, while the White House had lowered the overall price tag of Biden's 2.3-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan to 1.7 trillion dollars.

Biden also spoke Friday to Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which plans to begin debate on Biden's infrastructure proposal next week.

"The President and Chairman DeFazio agreed on the benefits of continued engagement with Democratic and Republican Senators as the House work on infrastructure advances this coming week," Psaki said.

Biden could pursue a massive infrastructure package with only Democratic votes if bipartisan negotiations ultimately collapse, according to local media.

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