May 23 (UPI) — White House officials have presented a revised infrastructure and jobs package that cuts the price tag from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion.
The White House’s proposal matches the Republicans’ $65 billion spending proposal for broadband and reduces President Joe Biden‘s previous spending level on roads, bridges and other major projects by $39 billion, CNN reported.
Proposed spending on manufacturing, research and development, and the supply chain have been dropped in the new proposal.
The memo issued Friday includes a section detailing concerns about investments that are either left out or inadequately funded by the Republican proposal, including power sector investments and tax credits; funding to plug oil and gas wells and clean up abandoned mines; construction funding and tax credits; and funding for veterans’ hospital repairs as well as an expansion of home care.
Republicans, whose own proposed infrastructure package costs $568 billion, have so far objected to the offer.
“There continue to be vast differences between the White House and Senate Republicans when it comes to the definition of infrastructure, the magnitude of proposed spending, and how to pay for it,” Kelley Moore, communications director for Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said. “Based on today’s meeting, the groups seem further apart after two meetings with White House staff than they were after one meeting with President Biden.”
White House staff told CNN Saturday that the counteroffer was an attempt to find bipartisan common ground.
“The ball is now in their court to respond with a good faith counter-offer,” said Andrew Bates, the White House’s deputy press secretary.