President Joe Biden will hold a fresh round of talks with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday as he and Republicans clash over the scope and size of an infrastructure proposal.
With Republicans seeking to pare back Biden’s more than $2 trillion plan, the president will meet with four members of the GOP — as well as six Democratic lawmakers. All attendees are former mayors or governors, whom the White House says “understand firsthand the impact of a federal investment in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure on their communities.”
Republicans have floated a plan with a price tag of less than half of Biden’s, and moderate members of the GOP are reportedly seeking to include only what they consider traditional infrastructure
: roads, bridges and the like. They also reject a corporate tax hike to pay for it, as Biden has suggested.
From the Democratic side, Sens. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Angus King of Maine (an independent who votes with Democrats) and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire will attend the afternoon White House meeting. Democratic Reps. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Charlie Crist of Florida and Norma Torres of California will join as well.
Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and John Hoeven of North Dakota will join GOP Reps. Carlos Gimenez of Florida and Kay Granger of Texas in the sit-down with Biden.
The Monday meeting is the second such gathering in a week. On April 12, Biden said he was prepared to negotiate on both the contents of the plan and how it’s paid for.
Democrats, meanwhile could again use the procedure known as reconciliation to pass an infrastructure proposal through the Senate with 51 votes. Biden says he wants a bipartisan deal, but insists doing nothing on infrastructure isn’t an option.
U.S. stocks on Monday pulled back modestly, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average
and S&P 500
ended last week at all-time highs as investors struggled for reasons to push equity benchmarks to new heights.