US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said time is running out to reach a bipartisan deal on infrastructure spending, warning that Democrats could pass the measure without Republican support if necessary.
Congress, which is in recess for the Memorial Day holiday, will return on June 7 and by then “we need a clear direction,” Buttigieg said Sunday.
President Joe Biden “has made it clear that inaction is not an option, and we don’t have unlimited time,” the secretary said. [El pueblo estadounidense] “Wait for us to do something.”
Biden will meet this week with the Republican negotiator in charge of the issue, Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and has said he is open to other Republican proposals. But at the same time the president has warned that time is running out to reach an agreement. At the beginning of June, there is a hearing in the House of Representatives for a proposal on transportation that is considered a cornerstone of the broader initiative that Biden favors.
Democratic senators plan to advance plans to strengthen the US infrastructure “with or without the support of Republican senators,” warned the Democratic majority leader in the upper house, Chuck Schumer, in a letter issued Friday.
Biden had originally set Memorial Day as the deadline for reaching an agreement.
Both parties do not agree. Republican senators last week unveiled their $ 928 billion proposal in response to Biden’s $ 1.7 billion, but insisted they will not approve the initiative to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to finance the plan.
Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito said Sunday that negotiations with the Biden administration on the infrastructure spending deal are progressing slowly despite persistent disagreements over the amount and scope of the legislation.
“I think we can come to a real compromise, absolutely, because we’re both still in the game,” Capito said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday.”
Capito leads a group of six Senate Republicans who have been in regular contact with Biden and White House advisers on a bill the administration wants to pass through Congress promptly.
With information from Voice of America