Though President Joe Biden’s massive, $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal isn’t dominating the headlines this week due to ongoing civil unrest in Minnesota and the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, there are still huge developments happening in the background.
According to Fox Business, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) indicated Sunday that he and other Senate Republicans may be willing to consider supporting Biden’s infrastructure package, as long as it falls within a much lower price range.
Signals of compromise
Cornyn’s willingness to jump on board seems to suggest Republicans aren’t totally against the proposed infrastructure plan; rather, they’d just prefer that the bill actually focus on traditional infrastructure issues, such as American roads and bridges, which no one can deny need attention.
“There is a core infrastructure bill that we could pass… So let’s do it and leave the rest for another day and another fight,” Cornyn said during a Sunday appearance on Fox News, asked if he’d support an $800 billion infrastructure proposal, according to Fox Business.
Also speaking Sunday on Fox, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) said that he believes Democrats should work with Republicans to find a middle ground of support for the upcoming bill, before taking more drastic measures.
“Then we show our people that we can solve their problems,” Coons said, according to Fox Business. “I think in the next few weeks we should roll up our sleeves and sit down and find ways that we can support to make these critically needed investments.”
Another Republican point of contention is how the bill will be funded, as there is currently a debate on proposed tax hikes included with the bill that even some Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), have signaled that they won’t support in current form.
The big meeting
Though there seems to be some signaling for sportsmanship on the proposal, according to the New York Post, Biden was scheduled to meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday to sell his “Build Back Better” bill as-is.
The group is set to meet with the president in the Oval Office and comprises lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who have previous experience as mayors or governors. The White House said the group was chosen as they “represent a bipartisan, bicameral group of some of the former governors and mayors now on Capitol Hill.”
“These former state and local elected officials understand firsthand the impact of a federal investment in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure on their communities,” the White House added, according to the Post.
Passing the bill with bipartisan support will allow Democrats the opportunity to keep certain parts of the bill intact that don’t fit within the rules of passing a bill on a party-line vote with the budget reconciliation process, though there are certainly signals that they’re more than willing to go that route, if needed.
Only time will tell if Democrats and Republicans can find some common ground to meet on with Biden’s enormous proposal, but it’s still very much in the early stages, and it seems quite a few from each side will likely need extra convincing to make it happen.