UPDATED 12:42 PM PT – Thursday, May 27, 2021
Joe Biden has, once again, delegated infrastructure talks to a member of his staff. On Wednesday, lawmakers made the trek from Capitol Hill to the White House to discuss infrastructure. Although instead of meeting face to face with Joe Biden, the group was greeted by Kamala Harris.
“So that’s the spirit behind this conversation today,” Harris expressed. “I welcome all of you virtually and in-person to have this conversation where we will have a candid and honest exchange of ideas and perspectives.”
The bipartisan group of six Democrats and three Republicans discussed high speed broadband internet, which is one of the few areas of the infrastructure package where Joe Biden finally conceded to the Republicans proposal of $65 billion.
We have a significant counter-proposal on real #infrastructure that is paid for, there’s no need to raise taxes. It also avoids the big threat to the economy which is inflation. We strongly recommend that President Biden endorses this proposal for the best interest of our nation. pic.twitter.com/77flqrYBxT
— Sen. John Barrasso (@SenJohnBarrasso) May 27, 2021
That concession occurred during a meeting between Biden and lawmakers last week. However, in the meetings since, other people within the Democrat Party are steering far from a bipartisan agreement and closer towards a one-sided legislative approach. This fear seemed to be only amplified by Harris’ comments at the meeting on Wednesday.
“The President and I have been very sincere and focused in making sure that these conversations are bipartisan in nature for a number of reasons that are probably obvious,” Harris claimed.
Republicans in both chambers have repeatedly said that their intention was to approach the negotiating table with the spirit of bipartisanship, but now it’s still not clear who is sitting on the other side.