The latest on infrastructure

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Monday, May 24, 2021

The White House sent an updated infrastructure proposal to Republicans on Friday, cutting the price tag by about $500 billion from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it was in an effort to seek “common ground” with Republicans, who have been calling for a drastically cheaper package.

But Republicans didn’t seem convinced. Senate EPW ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said the latest offer was “well above the range of what can pass Congress with bipartisan support” and “the groups seem further apart after two meetings with White House staff than they were after one meeting with President Biden.”

Republicans took issue with the details of the White House’s latest offer, saying it largely shifted many of the manufacturing and research and development costs of the original Democratic plan to other legislation. POLITICO’s Ben Leonard, Christopher Cadelago, Natasha Bertrand and Marianne Levine go into the politics of the latest negotiations.

What does that entail for energy and the environment? The White House is standing firm in its push for major investments in electric vehicles, replacing lead pipes and energy credits to transition away from fossil fuels. The White House sent Capito’s team a memo after their meeting Friday highlighting areas it views as critical but that the GOP proposal “excludes entirely,” including new investment tax credits for building transmission lines and tax credits for clean energy technology, such as carbon capture.

And how are we paying for this? Republicans and the White House still haven’t come to a consensus on the most contentious aspect of the infrastructure talks, with the administration saying corporations are some of the largest benefactors of transportation infrastructure and should pay their fair share.

Biden “fundamentally disagrees with the approach of increasing the burden on working people through increased gas taxes and user fees,” the White House memo said