Progressive Democrats restless over Biden’s infrastructure talks with Republicans

Progressive Democrats in the U.S. Congress are getting uneasy with President Joe Biden’s push for a bipartisan infrastructure deal, warning they could block an agreement that falls short of what they think the country needs.

Biden has spent weeks in negotiations with Senate Republicans aiming at a sweeping package that would address the nation’s roads and bridges, as well as boost spending on schools and health care. He has whittled his plan down to $1.7 trillion from $2.3 trillion, still well above Republicans’ latest $928 billion offer.

The two sides disagree on both what infrastructure is and how to pay for it. read more

Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal, who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, warned that her 94 members cannot be counted on to back a small bill without a guarantee of a second package that has the support of all 50 Senate Democrats willing to push it through over Republican objections.

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