Bipartisan senators reach tentative plan on infrastructure


White House officials arrive for a meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Congressional negotiators and the White House appear open to striking a roughly $1 trillion deal on infrastructure, but they are struggling with the hard part — deciding who will pay for it.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators reached a tentative framework on an infrastructure deal Wednesday ahead of a crucial meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House.

That’s according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks. Biden has invited members from the group of 21 senators to the White House on Thursday.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the senior staff to the president had two productive meetings with the bipartisan group at the Capitol. The White House team was huddled late into the evening with the Democratic leaders.

“The group made progress towards an outline of a potential agreement, and the President has invited the group to come to the White House tomorrow to discuss this in person,” Psaki said.

The group had been narrowing on a $1 trillion proposal of road, highway and other traditional infrastructure projects. They have struggled over how to pay for an estimated $579 billion in new spending.

“I would say that we’re very, very close and we’re going to now do the outreach,” Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio the told reporters on Capitol Hill as he left an evening meeting with the other senators and White House team.

“We have a good, good, balanced group of pay-fors. That was important to both sides, I will say, in good faith, we tried to get there. We didn’t agree on everything, but we were able to get there,” he said.

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