Update On Congressional Infrastructure Talks
On Wednesday, President Biden and Vice President Harris held infrastructure discussions with the “big four” Congressional leaders: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Republican leadership reiterated their opposition to using tax increases to pay for infrastructure, and also pushed back on the $170 billion the White House has proposed to support the EV industry.
The Congressional leaders and the White House agreed to keep talking, though President Biden’s goal of seeing “progress” on infrastructure before Memorial Day seems unlikely at this point.
The bipartisan conversations continued on Thursday, when President Biden and Vice President Harris held infrastructure discussions with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Meanwhile in the House, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said that his draft surface transportation reauthorization legislation would be similar to legislation introduced in the 116th Congress and would be released soon.
House Republicans are also planning to release a draft infrastructure framework in the next few weeks. In the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) said his committee would soon consider legislation that would simplify the tax code by consolidating energy tax credits.