Biden says Senate Republicans to make infrastructure counteroffer next week

2021-05-14 13:46:29Xinhua Editor : Wang Yifan ECNS App Download

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday that Senate Republicans will give him a revised infrastructure offer next week as the two sides seek compromise on the issue.

"We had a very, very good meeting...and I am very optimistic that we can reach a reasonable agreement," Biden said after a meeting with a group of six Republican senators at the White House.

"I laid out what I thought we should be doing, how it should be paid for. And my colleagues in the Senate came back and said they'll come back to me with a counteroffer of what they are prepared to do and fund, and how to fund it, and then we'll talk again next week," he said.

Following the meeting, Shelley Moore Capito, Republican ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, also said both sides voiced their desire to reach a bipartisan agreement.

"We promised to come back with another offer that he will react to then and counter-offer. We did what we intended to do, which was get next steps, be very cordial and ready to deal," Capito told Fox News.

"I think we all felt that he was an honest broker here in terms of wanting to actually do something together that we've traditionally gotten done together, which is infrastructure," Capito said of the president.

The meeting came after Senate Republicans last month unveiled a 568-billion-U.S. -dollar infrastructure investment plan while Biden had proposed a 2.3-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.

During the meeting, Biden also stressed that inaction was a red line for him and that he wanted to see real progress toward a potential bipartisan deal by Memorial Day, according to the White House.

"President Biden and the six Senators agreed to stay in touch and follow up on their conversation next week. The President will be in touch with Senator Capito about further talks," the White House said in a readout of the meeting.

The two sides remain far apart on the definition of infrastructure and how to pay for such a package, according to local media.

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