White House makes $1.7 trillion infrastructure counteroffer to GOP

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 20, 2021.

Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

WASHINGTON — White House aides working on a bipartisan infrastructure deal made a counteroffer on Friday to Republican senators, reducing their initial proposal by $600 billion.

The latest offer would cost $1.7 trillion over a decade, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

In order to trim the original $2.3 trillion plan down to $1.7 trillion, the White House would reduce funding for rural broadband, as well as for bridges and roads.

It would also shift funding for research and development, small businesses and supply chain improvements from this package over to separate legislation that’s being debated in Congress.

The counteroffer would keep several of the provisions in Biden’s plan that Republicans deeply oppose, however, which could dim the chances of ultimately reaching a bipartisan deal.

These include money to help pay eldercare home health aides, and funding to expand the use of electric vehicles.

Psaki called the counterproposal “the art of seeking common ground.”

A video conference call between key GOP senators and White House negotiators began shortly after lunch on Friday.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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