Big Week Is Ahead For Bipartisan Stimulus Talks

Bipartisan talks on a U.S. stimulus bill are headed for a “big week” and there’s no firm deadline yet for a deal, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said. While President Joe Biden and key Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito have agreed to talk again on Monday to discuss a potential agreement, pressure is building on the administration, including from progressive Democrats, to abandon bipartisan efforts and attempt to pass the stimulus without GOP support.

Biden on Friday rejected the latest offer from a group of Senate Republicans led by West Virginia’s Capito that called for about $50 billion more in spending than they previously proposed, according to the White House. That offer came after Biden lowered his initial demand for a $2.3 trillion bill to $1.7 trillion, all of which would be new spending. Separately, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers are preparing to reveal a roughly $878 billion infrastructure proposal probably this week. Capito’s group has offered a plan that on its face totals $928 billion in spending over eight years, but only $257 billion of that would be new net spending above amounts Congress was expected to approve anyway. While stopping short of deadlines for a big infrastructure bill, Raimondo cited parallel efforts to advance a $547 billion highway and transit bill.

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