GOP offers $928B in response to Biden's infrastructure plan

Sen. Roger Wicker R-Miss. arrives for a Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday Jan. 26 2021

"Lastly, we are concerned that the proposal on how to pay for the plan remains unclear: we are anxious that major cuts in COVID relief funds could imperil pending aid to small businesses, restaurants and rural hospitals using this money to get back on their feet after the crush of the pandemic".

This comes as Republican senators outlined a $928 billion infrastructure proposal Thursday that would tap unused coronavirus aid, a counteroffer to President Joe Biden's more sweeping plan as the two sides struggle to negotiate a bipartisan compromise and remain far apart on how to pay for the massive spending. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it was "encouraging" that Republicans "substantially increased the funding level" to almost $1 trillion and that they made "several constructive additions" on roads, bridges and rails.

The White House reacted with some optimism. "We think there are better ways to pay for it", she said.

The offer was only one page long, and did not contain specifics about how to pay for the investments. The president has urged the GOP to put at least $1 trillion into an infrastructure package.

President Joe Biden's administration has proposed tax hikes for corporations and the wealthy to offset the cost, which has sparked backlash from Republicans and business groups.

"I'm happy they know that it benefited their constituents".

"We are anxious major cuts in Covid relief funds could imperil pending aid to small businesses, restaurants, and rural hospitals using this money to get back on their feet after the crush of the pandemic", Psaki said. But the majority of the funding for their bill will come from funds already allocated toward Covid-19 relief.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), did not react warmly to the GOP plan, saying it is not "a serious counteroffer".

"I understand the president is willing to keep talking, and actually the president is a bit more reasonable than some of the people surrounding him", McConnell said. "But if you're going to try to take credit for what you've done, don't get in the way of what we still need to do", he said. Biden wants to include funding for public schools, affordable housing, child care, electric vehicles, and more.

"We are grateful for the work of Senator Capito and her colleagues on this proposal", Psaki said in a statement on Thursday, referring to Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican Senator from West Virginia.

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