Congressional Republicans got the headlines they wanted to see when they unveiled their $928 billion counter proposal for infrastructure spending this morning, but that number doesn't tell all or even most the story.
We already knew that Republicans would call for reappropriating money that was already allocated for state governments under the American Rescue Plan, but that represents an even bigger share of the proposal than what was originally reported.
President Biden is calling on Congress to pass a $1.7 trillion bill, but the GOP's new proposal includes just $257 billion in new spending over the next decade.
The proposal comes as talks are set to go past the Biden administration’s unofficial deadline of Memorial Day. But the latest GOP offer only includes $257 billion in new spending, a far cry from the White House number of $1.7 trillion. [...]
While the counteroffer will likely prolong discussions with the White House, the Biden administration and Senate Republicans remain far apart on several issues, including the total cost, the definition of infrastructure, and how to pay for it.
Senate Democrats are already scoffing at the GOP counteroffer. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) described it as a “non-starter” on CNN.
Congress is currently considering a separate, so-called "China bill" that provides new funding and tax credits to the semiconductor industry intended to counter a global chip shortage, but that largely unrelated bill is also being included in the GOP's $928 billion figure. Combined with the plan to repurpose money already appropriated for states, that's why the GOP's plan contains very little in new spending.
Democrats aren't going to accept this, but Republicans know that. It wasn't written for Democrats; it was written for media consumption.
Republicans probably couldn't or wouldn't even pass their own counteroffer if it were all up to them, but that's not the point. The point of making this offer is to cry about it when it's rejected.
They're going to cry about it all the way to the 2022 election. Republicans don't do anything except cry now. They cry more than me and I have more real reasons to.