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GOP senators see path to narrower infrastructure deal

“This is a staggering amount of spending, like someone with a new credit card,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Barrasso has hammered Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, calling inclusion of things such as child care “cradle to grave government.”

The Wyoming Republican said he could get behind a deal that focuses on what he calls “core infrastructure,” like that covered in the $568 billion counteroffer by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

“I 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,” Barrasso said. “Because $500 billion to $600 billion of infrastructure is a massive amount of infrastructure.”

Even as they complained about some elements of the Biden plan, Republicans still saw hope to work out a deal.

Democrats and Republicans have calls scheduled for this week, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Portman said there’s “a better opportunity” to work with the White House on infrastructure than there was on Covid relief since it is typically a bipartisan issue.

“With Covid, a bunch of us went to the White House, made a proposal, and the president indicated he wanted to negotiate. But, unfortunately, the next morning, they changed their mind, and Chuck Schumer announced they were all going to do this by reconciliation, which knocks Republicans out of the game all together,” Portman said of the Senate majority leader.

“So, let’s hope we don’t have a repeat of that because I think we can come up with a good bill that’s bipartisan, and one that actually will survive over time because it’ll be more sustainable with Republican and Democrat support.”

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