senate plan to offer an infrastructure bill of their own that would spend about $650 billion, a GOP source tells Fox News, as the White House and congress” target=”_blank”>congressional< $2 trillion-plus spending plan.
The proposal comes after Republicans for weeks complained that the president’s “American Jobs Plan” spent well under half of its money on infrastructure and as the White House has said it’s open to negotiations.
Fox News is told that the GOP plan will include money for broadband internet. The GOP bill is expected to be offered sometime during the May recess.
Republicans have expressed doubts about the White House’s sincerity on infrastructure negotiations, especially after the president spurned the efforts of several moderate GOP senators to negotiate over coronavirus relief.
But the GOP infrastructure bill could serve as an opening salvo in talks on the issue. A Republican source noted to Fox News that the $650 billion GOP proposal will be much larger a previous infrastructure package of about $300 billion.
“What I’d like to do is get back to what I consider the regular definition of infrastructure in terms of job creation. that’s roads, bridges, ports, airports, including broadband into that. Water infrastructure,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said earlier Wednesday on CNBC. “I would say probably into the six or eight-hundred billion — but we haven’t put all that together yet.”
Speaking of a potential GOP infrastructure proposal on Tuesday, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said “that number [$800B] seems a little high, but there may be some elements in that that I’m not familiar with. Broadband will be part of that, water, sewer, as well as roads, airports and so forth.”
Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, have made clear some of the other elements of the Biden “American Jobs Plan” are important to them.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus on Friday released a list of their top priorities in the Biden plan, which included the “Care Economy,” housing and climate change, among other things. Republicans have specifically slammed the Biden plan over its money for in-home care, climate change and housing. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” a “trojan horse.”
“I think we really need to update what we mean by infrastructure for the 21st century,” National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said this month on “Fox News Sunday” in support of those elements of the Biden plan. “If you look at that number on housing what we’re talking about is construction, building housing all around the country to help make sure that there are more affordable housing units for people to access jobs and access economic opportunity.”
Deese added: “For anybody out there… who are parents who are taking care of an elderly parent or an adult child with disabilities, they know that if you don’t have an infrastructure of care to support your loved ones, you can’t effectively work, you can’t effectively interact in the 21st century economy.”
To get a bill through the Senate, Democrats will either have to get 10 Republicans on board with it to break the 60-vote filibuster threshold or move it through budget reconciliation, a procedure that circumvents the filibuster.
It’s not yet clear what avenue they will choose, but they have been preparing to move the bill via reconciliation without GOP support. They’ve argued that a bill can be bipartisan without the support of Republican lawmakers — as long as Republicans support it in public polling.
Fox News’ Kelly Phares contributed to this report.