UPDATED 8:15 AM PT – Saturday, June 12, 2021
A bipartisan group of senators have come to an agreement on an infrastructure deal. The goal was to get the deal done by September and though it is only June, the efforts have been kicked into high gear.
One major factor in this latest infrastructure proposal is an agreement to not fund the proposal by raising taxes on the wealthy. Democrats such as Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.) have mentioned it will be a difficult selling point with his fellow Democrats in the senate, but is something he believes can get 60 votes in the upper chamber.
“I think there’s going to be challenges and I think that there’s plenty of opportunity to be optimistic,” he stated. “The challenges are getting closer and closer until we can get the Democratic caucus on board.”
Senate Republicans seem to be more receptive to the latest deal, as Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled his openness to the deal with Republicans such as Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) taking part in negotiations.
“Mitch McConnell said yesterday he was open to it,” the Louisiana senator mentioned. “That’s a good next step.”
More roads, more bridges, less borrowing, less taxes. Let’s get a deal done.
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) June 10, 2021
Bipartisan talks between Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Biden ended without a deal earlier in the week.
According to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), both Republicans and Democrats within this bipartisan group are looking to have the deal approved by party leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell as soon as possible. They are also awaiting approval from the White House.
“Figure out something by the end of the week? That’s hopefully the goal here,” she explained. “People want to know whether there is something for us to be working on and focusing on and I’d like to say that there is.”
Members of the group have called the deal a “realistic compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies.”
According to Tester, the group will aim to fund projects from other pots of money the government has access to without raising taxes. However, specifics on the other sources of cash are unclear at this time.