‘We have a deal’: Biden announces bipartisan infrastructure agreement

Politics

FILE – In this June 18, 2021, file photo, President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – President Joe Biden says a bipartisan group of senators, five Democrats and five Republicans, have reached an agreement on future infrastructure legislation, a big priority for the Biden Administration.

The tentative deal was announced in a Thursday afternoon news conference and on President Biden’s official Twitter account.

“We had a really good meeting…we have a deal. I think it’s really important, and I think we all agree, that none of us got all of what we wanted,” Biden said. “I clearly didn’t get all I wanted…bipartisan deals means compromise.”

In his statement to the press, the president said that some changes could be made during the reconciliation process, but touted the work done to reach across the aisle and reach some type of compromise.

The next steps for an infrastructure plan to solidify would be having approved versions of the legislation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The president would not comment on the level of support he was expecting in the Senate, when asked by members of the White House Press Corp.

“We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we came up with a good compromise that’s going to help the American people,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio told the press. “This is about infrastructure. Every president over the last four or five presidents has talked about doing a big infrastructure package.”

Portman noted that even former President Donald Trump had proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure package during his presidency. He went on to say that the group of 10 senators would be announcing the framework of an “historic investment” in infrastructure.

The framework will include roads, bridges and broadband, among other things, such as the water system and the rail system in the U.S., all of which will help the economy, according to Portman.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., spoke after Portman and detailed some of the more technical details of the framework.

“This does represent an historic investment in our country’s infrastructure,” Sinema said. “It invests in green energy and climate, recognizing the changing nature of our country and our future, it invests in broadband and our power grid and our structures.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, described the framework as the largest investment in the U.S. infrastructure in history and emphasized the importance of the compromise across both parties and with the White House administration. She said the scope of the plan, the price, and how to fund the plan all were agreed upon, something she said was essential to the American people.

“It was essential to show the American people that the Senate can function, that we can work in a bipartisan way, and it sends an important message to the world as well: That America can function, can get things done,” Collins said.

According to the senators, in details released last week and confirmed that there would be an additional $559 billion in spending. Additional reporting by the Associated Press shows the compromise on the plan puts the final price tag at $953 billion.

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