Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg suggested time is running out for Republicans to reach a deal with the Biden administration on infrastructure spending before Democrats go it alone.
“The president keeps saying inaction is not an option. And time is not unlimited here,” Buttigieg said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” one of three appearances on Sunday talk shows.
The two sides have been negotiating over President Joe Biden’s proposed American Jobs Plan to boost spending on traditional infrastructure as well on the so-called caring economy. Biden has suggested a $1.7 trillion package, less than his original proposal, but Republicans are pushing for a smaller deal.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the West Virginia Republican involved in the negotiations, said there’s momentum “building” toward a bipartisan deal and that Biden has expressed his desire for it numerous times.
“We’re edging toward one another,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But if in the end there’s no deal, it won’t be for a lack of effort.”
She said the two sides are still trying to agree on a “core, solid definition” of infrastructure, and that the bill should focus on traditional physical infrastructure -- like fixing roads, bridges and waterways -- as well as broadband.
Social or human infrastructure are “great things that we need to discuss” but shouldn’t be included in the current measure, she said.
Buttigieg said talks have been “healthy” but that time is running out to come to an agreement before Congress returns June 7.
“We are getting pretty close to a fish-or-cut bait moment, but I will tell you that on the fishing side of things, the negotiations have been healthy,” he said. “I just want to emphasize, we really are talking about the next few days.”
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