President Joe Biden will hold his second infrastructure meeting with Democratic and Republican members of Congress on Monday, as GOP lawmakers push to shrink the president’s more than $2 trillion plan.
Biden aims to approve a package in the coming months that revamps U.S. roads, bridges, airports, broadband, housing and utilities, and invests in job training along with care for elderly and disabled Americans. Republicans have signaled they could support a scaled-back bill based around transportation, broadband and water systems.
The president has said he wants to craft a bipartisan bill, but Democrats would move to pass legislation on their own through budget reconciliation if they fail to strike a deal with the GOP. As the parties have disparate visions of what qualifies as infrastructure and how big of a role the government should take in the process, it is unclear what could win support from both Democrats and Republicans.
Asked Sunday if he would back a roughly $800 billion infrastructure proposal floated by some of his Senate colleagues, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, did not explicitly endorse the figure but signaled he could support a plan with transportation and broadband at its center.
“There is a core infrastructure bill that we could pass with appropriate pay-fors like roads, and bridges, and even reaching out to broadband, which this pandemic has exposed a great digital divide in the country. … I think we could all agree to that, but I think that’s the part we can agree on, so let’s do it,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Appearing on Fox with Cornyn, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., floated the possibility of Democrats passing a smaller infrastructure proposal with GOP support and then moving to approve their other priorities on their own.