Republicans are against nearly everything President Joe Biden deems needed.
Senate Republicans are saying that a bipartisan deal on President Joe Biden's spending proposals is easily attainable — if he'll only give in to their tiny counterplan.
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) summed up his party's position on Biden's proposals to invest trillions of dollars in infrastructure and American families. "If you want to fix roads and bridges, come where Republicans already are," he demanded. "If you're talking about spending hundreds of billions of dollars on public sector unions, we're far apart."
Biden has proposed a $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan to invest in roads, bridges, transit, clean energy, water systems, transit, broadband, and caregiving infrastructure. He has also called for a $1.8 trillion investment in child care and education in his American Families Plan.
Congressional Republicans have opposed both plans, proposing that Biden instead agree to a $568 billion counterproposal focused only on what they termed "core infrastructure," like highways and broadband.
But a Washington Post analysis last Monday revealed that that plan would only bring about $189 billion in new spending beyond what would likely be spent with no action at all. This means their counteroffer to Biden really amounts to only about 8% of what he's asked for infrastructure spending.
Still, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told CNN on Sunday that if Biden wants bipartisanship, he needs to come closer to the GOP's "reasonable offer" and jettison what she called a "huge expansion of social programs."
"This is going to be a test on whether President Biden is truly interested in bipartisanship. If he is, we can get there on the core infrastructure passage — on that I mean road, bridges, highways, rail, waterways and of course broadband," she said.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) told ABC News on Sunday that Biden needs to accept a deal that includes only those investments, not the "trillions and trillions of dollars of reckless spending" in climate and human infrastructure.
"I actually believe there's a deal to be had if we leave things out like the Green New Deal, and recyclable cafeteria trays and climate justice, because $500 billion to $600 billion of infrastructure is a massive amount of infrastructure," he said.
Biden has indicated that he is willing to negotiate with Republicans, but said he is unsure whether they are serious about real compromise.
Noting the GOP's strong opposition to nearly all of his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, Biden indicated he will try to work around them if they don't make a serious proposal this time. "If like last time they come in with one-fourth or one-fifth of what I'm asking and say that's our final offer," he told reporters on Thursday, "then no, no go."
If Democrats unite around the spending plans, they could pass the legislation without a single GOP vote.
Polls show the American public is strongly in support of Biden's spending plans.
A Monmouth University survey released last week showed 68% support for the American Jobs Plan. The same poll showed 64% support for the major provisions of Biden's American Families Plan.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.