Bipartisan group of 21 senators back infrastructure deal with $580 in new spending

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Details emerged early Thursday about the nearly $1 trillion infrastructure compromise in the works by a bipartisan group of 21 senators that calls for $580 billion in new spending.

The group includes 11 Republicans and the framework’s endorsement is seen as a significant development in negotiations while President Biden was in Geneva meeting with Russian President Vladamir Putin.

A source told Fox News that Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, two authors of the framework, will address the House Problem Solvers Caucus later this week with the hopes of marrying the two plans. 

The House Problem Solvers Caucus came up with its own proposal earlier this month that comes with a $1.2 trillion price tag that spans eight years.

The White House issued a statement Wednesday praising the senators for the negotiations and said the outcome was “encouraging.”

Andrew Bates, the deputy press secretary, said Biden will be updated on the development when he returns to U.S. on Thursday.

Biden told reporters Wednesday that he had yet to see the proposal but remained hopeful a bipartisan agreement could be reached, despite weeks of on-again, off-again talks over his more robust $1.7 billion American Jobs Plan.

The total cost of the compromise is $974 billion over a five-year period, which includes $394 billion in baseline spending and $580 billion in new spending. Sources told Fox News that there is a second option being floated that would extrapolate the plan out to eight years and cost $1.25 trillion.

The current bill’s framework includes $110 billion for roads and bridges; $66 billion for railroads; $25 billion for airports; and $15 billion on charging stations for electric vehicles. 

“We support this bipartisan framework that provides an historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure needs without raising taxes,” the bipartisan group said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our Republican and Democratic colleagues to develop legislation based on this framework to address America’s critical infrastructure challenges.”

Progressives have urged the passage of comprehensive legislation with just Democrat support by way of budget reconciliation, if necessary, and to stop holding out hope for a bipartisan deal with Republicans. 

“We’re just not going to be able to agree to some small deal that only deals with physical infrastructure that doesn’t take on climate, that doesn’t take on childcare, that doesn’t take on healthcare,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the liberal House caucus, told reporters Wednesday. “That’s why we’re saying: Let’s go big. Let’s go bold. Let’s go now. And let’s go with what the American people want.”

Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist, told the New York Times that there is “no denying that some in the [Democrat] base want to see more accomplishments than we’ve had so far.”

“I think the moment demands as aggressive an approach as possible, but the reality is, nothing is coming easy on Capitol Hill, and not everything Democrats want is going to get done,” he said.

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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