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President Biden and Democrats are facing difficult decisions about how to move their infrastructure plan through Congress as bipartisan momentum flags.
WASHINGTON — With bipartisan negotiations faltering, President Biden and Senate Democrats are facing difficult decisions about how to salvage their hopes of enacting a major new infrastructure package this year, and waning time to decide whether to continue pursuing compromise with Republicans or try to act on their own.
Senate Republicans who have been negotiating with the White House said on Tuesday that they would produce a counterproposal to Mr. Biden’s latest $1.7 trillion offer, promising a plan by Thursday that could amount to $1 trillion in public works spending over eight years. But it is unclear whether the two sides can reach common ground, and a group of centrist senators in both parties were quietly discussing a backup option should the talks stall.
At the same time, many Democrats have grown wary of the prospect of a bipartisan deal as Republicans have continued to push to scale back Mr. Biden’s original $2.3 trillion proposal to a fraction of its size, while rejecting his calls to raise taxes on high earners and corporations to pay for the package.
Several Democrats are eager for party leaders to abandon the effort to win over Republicans and instead try to use the fast-track budget reconciliation process to muscle through Mr. Biden’s $4 trillion economic plan for both a sweeping infrastructure investment and an expansion of child care, education and work force support with a simple majority.
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