On The Money: Biden, Senate GOP take step toward infrastructure deal as other plans hit speed bumps
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THE BIG DEAL — Senate GOP to give Biden infrastructure counteroffer next week: Senate Republicans will give President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau’s assessment of first 100 days would be ‘Be who you are’ Biden: McCarthy’s support of Cheney ouster is ‘above my pay grade’ Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE a revised infrastructure offer next week after a sit down at the White House on Thursday.
“He wanted it pretty quickly,” Capito said. “I made it clear this was not a stagnant offer from us, and I didn’t want it to be perceived that way.”
Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntDemocratic Kansas City, Mo., mayor eyes Senate run Democrats, GOP agree on one thing: They’re skeptical of a deal Senate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill MORE (R-Mo.) said that he also expected Republicans to come back with “more specifics” early next week on “on our idea to pay for things and further the list that we talked about with him.”
“We were pretty far down the road,” Blunt, a member of GOP leadership, said about Thursday’s meeting. The Hill’s Jordain Carney takes us there.
Breaking down the counteroffer:
- The GOP group unveiled a proposal earlier this year that offered $568 billion for infrastructure — dramatically smaller than Biden’s $2.3 trillion jobs plan — and didn’t rule out Thursday that they would go higher in their next pitch.
- The next GOP proposal is likely to remain focused on “core” infrastructure including roads, bridges, water and broadband, though Capito said Republicans needed to lock down the areas they would focus on.
- Biden discussed an area of interest for him: electric cars and competing with China, while Republicans also discussed using public-private partnerships to help cover the costs instead of undoing the 2017 tax bill.
The prospects: The positive note from the GOP senators on Thursday comes after Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says Beau’s assessment of first 100 days would be ‘Be who you are’ McConnell says he’s ‘great admirer’ of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal McConnell: ‘Good chance’ of deal with Biden on infrastructure MORE (R-Ky.) also sounded optimistic about the chances of getting a deal after his meeting with Biden on Wednesday.
GOP senators involved in the negotiations also say they would be willing to cut a bipartisan deal with Biden on infrastructure even if Democrats were going to try to push through the rest of the president’s plan with the budget reconciliation process.
“Why wouldn’t we work with the president of the United States? …We know that they have that option. We used that option in 2017,” Capito said, referring to the 2017 tax bill.
Biden’s other spending plans hit speed bumps: The momentum toward a bipartisan deal is a nice break for Biden as latest spending proposals are hitting a series of speed bumps.
- A disappointing monthly jobs report and unexpected jump in inflation has Republicans arguing that some of Biden’s proposals included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill are actually slowing the recovery by disincentivizing workers to get jobs.
- Biden’s plans were already coming under criticism from Republicans and business groups, who have hammered his plan to raise taxes on the rich and corporations to pay for his social spending measures.
“It’s not great,” one Democratic strategist acknowledged of the April jobs report. “And it will certainly slow down the process and any momentum Biden had in recent weeks without a doubt because Republicans will use this to show that some of these ideas being pushed aren’t sound.”
The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant, Amie Parnes, and I have more here.
LEADING THE DAY
Study: Early unemployment cutoff would cost 16M people $100B: Cutting off federal emergency unemployment benefits ahead of their September expiration date would prevent some $100 billion from flowing to 16 million people, according to a study by the left-leaning Century Foundation.
The study found that among the 12 states that have already announced an early end to additional benefits, 895,000 workers would lose a collective $4.7 billion.
“These derelictions of responsibility are an affront to workers in these states,” the study’s author Andrew Stettner wrote. “Workers were right to believe that they would receive these benefits through Sept. 6, but now they’ve been denied this federal aid.”
The background: The study comes as Republicans push to scale back pandemic unemployment aid, which they argue is responsible for labor shortages.
- Unemployed workers are eligible for federal programs giving them an additional $300 in weekly benefits, as well as programs that extend benefits for those who have been collecting benefits for a prolonged period of time and offer benefits to populations that are normally not eligible, such as gig economy workers, freelancers or the self-employed.
- While so far the cuts have only been announced by a handful of states led by GOP governors, many of which have unemployment figures below the national average, GOP senators on Thursday called for revoking the additional federal benefits.
The Hill’s Niv Elis has more here.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) on Thursday introduced legislation aimed at helping single-parent families benefit from the expansion of the child tax credit enacted earlier this year.
- President Biden will unveil his full 2022 fiscal year budget proposal on May 27, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) spokesman Rob Friedlander said Thursday.
- Stocks bounced back Thursday morning from two days of heavy losses as investors returned to technology stocks in the face of rising inflation.
- Multiple major U.S. banks are planning to begin sharing data on customer’s accounts as part of a government initiative to provide credit to those who don’t have credit scores.
- Initial jobless claims for the first week of May set a new pandemic low of 473,000, according to Labor Department data released Thursday.
- Demand for ridesharing services is beginning to pick back up as Americans get vaccinated against coronavirus but many eager riders are running into the same problem: A lack of drivers.
ODDS AND ENDS
- McDonald’s announced Thursday that over the next several months it will be boosting pay for employees at company-owned restaurants, which account for approximately 650 of its nearly 14,000 U.S. locations.
- Amazon announced Thursday that it is looking to hire 75,000 more employees across the U.S. and Canada.