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Biden, bipartisan senators agree on infra plan

The President calls on Congress to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and send it to his desk, the White House said

IANS | Washington |


US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he has reached a deal with a bipartisan group of senators on a roughly $1.2-trillion infrastructure plan.

“We had a really good meeting and to answer the direct question, we have a deal,” Biden told reporters at the White House after a meeting with the senators.

“We’ve all agreed that none of us got what we all would have wanted. I clearly didn’t get all I wanted. They gave more than I think they were maybe inclined to give in the first place,” Biden said.

Biden’s remarks came after a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday reached a deal on a framework for an infrastructure spending bill, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Drafts of the agreement had called for 579 billion dollars of spending above expected federal levels, totalling $973 billion over five years and $1.2 trillion if continued over eight years, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is a critical step in implementing President Biden’s Build Back Better vision,” the White House said on Thursday in a fact sheet.

“The President calls on Congress to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and send it to his desk, and pass a budget resolution and legislation that makes his full Build Back Better vision a reality,” the White House said.

While the framework between the bipartisan group of lawmakers and the White House marks an important step toward a final agreement, passing the legislation is set to be a delicate balancing act, according to the Journal.

It’s not clear yet whether Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will endorse the deal.

During talks with Senate Republicans last month, the White House had lowered the overall price tag of Biden’s $2.3-trillion infrastructure plan to $1.7 trillion, while Senate Republicans offered a $928-billion infrastructure counteroffer. But the two sides failed to reach a deal and agreed to end infrastructure talks earlier this month.