Congress

The White House Ends Infrastructure Talks

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The Biden White House spent the last month negotiating with a group of Republicans led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in an effort to see if they could be moved to compromise, but that rhetorical exercise is over.

The White House has cut off talks with Capito with no current plans to resume them. Senate Democrats are also taking initial steps toward revising their budget proposal that will facilitate the budget reconciliation process.

Negotiations between Biden and Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia ended with a phone call Tuesday after almost four weeks of efforts failed to bridge wide differences on both spending and funding. Each side blamed the other for intransigence. [...]

While talks continue, Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders said Tuesday he would begin work soon on a fiscal blueprint that could set the stage for a giant reconciliation bill that spans both the jobs plan and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which is focused on social programs. He pointed out that Democratic lawmakers would reshape the proposals as they proceed.

With the White House and Schumer hoping to pass the economic agenda before the congressional August recess, such work likely must start this month. Asked when he wants to advance the filibuster-evading package, Sanders responded, “as soon as we can.”

President Biden himself may have been thirsty for a compromise, but the White House isn't stupid. They know as well as we do that Republicans were never going to compromise. But they had to try.

They had to try because support from centrist Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema depends on it. Support from the public depends on making a show of it and, whether its right or wrong, media coverage is also skewed by talks even if those talks lead nowhere.

The White House took their medicine, figuratively speaking, and now they're moving forward.

It's anyone's guess if something will pass before the August recess, but that gives them the best chance of success. When Congress returns from recess in September, it will be time to pass a government funding bill to avoid a shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on October 1st.

Republicans paraded in front of cameras this morning to say they will never agree to raise taxes. And we knew they wouldn't, but that more or less sealed the deal that serious talks are over.