WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As President Joe Biden works to get his infrastructure package through Congress, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed breaking up the package into two to get it passed.
“We all believe that it can and it must be done,” Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday.
Hogan led a bipartisan meeting of governors and lawmakers on Friday, searching for common ground on infrastructure.
“If we can’t come together on infrastructure in the most toxic atmosphere we’ve had in Washington, then we’re in trouble,” Sen. Joe Manchin said.
The West Virginia Democrat is calling to break President Biden’s more than $2 trillion infrastructure plan in two to give the parts of the plan he believes have the greatest need a better chance of passing.
“The greatest need we have now that can be done in a bipartisan way is conventional infrastructure,” Manchin said.
Members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus said they have the framework ready to go.
“It can be done and, as Joe said, it must get done,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., said Friday.
The push for bipartisanship comes as Republicans on Capitol Hill introduce their own measure to address infrastructure. It’s a plan that’s a quarter the size of President Biden’s.
The $568 billion proposal focuses on what Republicans consider traditional infrastructure. That includes fixing roads, drinking water systems and expanding broadband.
“We’re ready to sit down and get to work on this,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., said.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Friday that “the worst thing we can do is do nothing.” She said the president is willing to compromise and she believes they will strike a deal.
“We have to sit down with members of Congress and, frankly, do our job,” Raimondo said.
President Biden is already expected to introduce the second part of his infrastructure plan, focusing on families, soon.