President Joe Biden is set to meet with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., on Wednesday to discuss a potential deal on infrastructure legislation after the senator led her colleagues in making a counteroffer to his proposed $1.7 trillion package.
"The president is looking forward to hosting Senator Capito on Wednesday afternoon at the White House, where they will continue their bipartisan negotiations about investing in our middle class and economic growth through infrastructure," an unidentified White House official told CBS News on Tuesday.
Last week, Capito led several GOP senators in proposing a $928 billion spending package dealing with infrastructure reform in response to the offer made by the White House earlier this month. Republicans said that although Biden's most recent proposal shaved about half a billion dollars off the initial $2.3 trillion offer, it still includes many provision that they consider unrelated to infrastructure.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday: "We are getting pretty close to a fish-or-cut-bait moment."
He continued, "We believe in this process, but also very much agree that this can't go on forever. The American people want results."
Buttigieg said that the White House will make a choice next week whether to push for a compromise with Congress once they return from their recent break.
"By the time that they return, which is June 7 just a week from tomorrow, we need a clear direction," the secretary said. "The president keeps saying, 'inaction is not an option' and time is not unlimited here. The American people expect us to do something."
Capito, also in an interview on Sunday, said that "absolutely" she thinks "we can get to real compromise," on an infrastructure deal.
She added that this is because she and Biden are "both still in the game. We realize this is not easy. I think we bring every idea that's on the table into the negotiations to see how we can achieve this and get it across the threshold."
The senator told reporters last week that during a recent meeting, Biden had signaled he was prepared to cut certain items from his proposal to satisfy Republicans.
"When we came out of the president's meeting, with him, we thought we had an understanding [that] his social infrastructure is off. They didn't take any of that off … And that we couldn't do it by raising taxes. They still have that in there," Capito said.
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