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Republicans draw ‘pink line’ on growing taxes to fund Biden’s infrastructure plan

Meeting attendees included Vice President Kamala Harris; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican; and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican.

After the assembly, McConnell and McCarthy informed reporters that the majority of their hour-and-a-half assembly was about infrastructure and that they each made clear that they don’t seem to be keen to budge on the 2017 tax cuts signed into regulation by former President Donald Trump, calling the problem the GOP’s “red line.”

“I think that it is safe to say there is certainly a bipartisan desire to get an outcome,” McConnell mentioned. “Clearly, Senate Republicans are not interested in revisiting the 2017 tax bill. I think the President and the vice president understand that.”

He additionally mentioned people within the room agreed that they’d subsequent work on how they might be defining infrastructure.

McCarthy argued that “raising taxes would be the biggest mistake you could make.”

“You won’t find any Republican that will go and raise taxes and that’s the worst thing you can do in the economy — when you are watching inflation, gas prices are going up, and it has not been this high since President Biden was vice president,” McCarthy mentioned.

In an interview Wednesday after the assembly, Biden informed MSNBC he’ll strive passing facets of his infrastructure invoice with out Republicans if they can’t garner bipartisan help. He mentioned he wasn’t keen to desert priorities like expanded baby care, even when Republicans don’t desire them included in an infrastructure invoice.

“We’re going to fight those out. I want to know what we can agree on, and let’s see if we can get an agreement, kick start this. And then fight over what’s left and see if I can get it done without Republicans if need be,” he mentioned in a clip thata aired on Wednesday.

He mentioned the problem of how the infrastructure invoice can be paid for didn’t come up, and as a substitute centered on what needs to be labeled “infrastructure” — and what the 2 sides may comply with cross as such.

“I got into what constitutes infrastructure. And I want to make it clear: I want to get a bipartisan deal on as much as we can get a bipartisan deal on. And that means roads, bridges, broadband, infrastructure,” Biden mentioned. “But I’m not giving up on the fact we have 2 million women not able to go back to work because all the daycare centers are closed, out of business, so they can’t go back to work. I’m not going to give up on a whole range of things that go to the question of productivity, increasing jobs, increasing employment, increasing revenues. I’m not willing to give up on that.”

The assembly got here hours after Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney misplaced her place within the House Republican management for repeatedly publicly rejecting former President Donald Trump’s lie that he received the 2020 presidential election. The House Republican Conference is predicted to switch Cheney with New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who has a much less conservative voting report than Cheney however has emerged as certainly one of Trump’s prime defenders.

Wednesday’s assembly marked McConnell and McCarthy’s first time within the West Wing since Biden took workplace, in line with an administration official. While Biden has saved up public guarantees to seek out bipartisan areas to compromise, each McConnell and McCarthy have — at the least publicly — largely promised they’d do the whole lot to cease Biden’s agenda.

That opposition has taken totally different varieties — McCarthy voted towards certifying Biden’s win within the Electoral College within the hours after the January 6 riot on the White House and McConnell has mentioned publicly that “100% of my focus is on stopping this new administration.”

But these subjects, in addition to the ouster inside the House Republican Conference, weren’t on the agenda. And following their time within the Oval Office, not one of the events had indicated these political points had been introduced up. McCarthy talked about that the group briefly mentioned the violence that has erupted between Israel and Palestinians.

No one on the White House was below any illusions {that a} deal can be struck on any main concern in the course of the first joint assembly between Biden and the 4 congressional leaders, however the President noticed it as an vital avenue for reaching out throughout the aisle.

“The President has been clear from as far back as his campaign that he believes these discussions and engagements are important in and of themselves,” a senior White House official mentioned forward of the assembly.

Even although Wednesday’s assembly is the large ticket merchandise this week, the White House is equally — if no more — targeted on Thursday’s assembly with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and different Republican senators as an avenue for progress on infrastructure.

In current days, the White House has intensified its negotiations with members of Congress over Biden’s broad spending proposals. Members of the administration have mentioned they’ve a purpose of seeing actual progress on infrastructure laws by Memorial Day, which is nearly two-and-a-half weeks away.

White House workers held a collection of inner conferences over the weekend to arrange for this week’s conferences and have stayed in shut contact with lawmakers and congressional workers on infrastructure, a White House official mentioned.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has labored the telephones with day by day calls to lawmakers to debate the administration’s proposals, per one official. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm this week is courting bipartisan members of Congress, governors, and stakeholders within the labor and enterprise sectors, one other official informed CNN.

Biden is assembly with a number of members of Congress this week to maneuver his plans on infrastructure ahead. He met with key moderates, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, on the White House earlier this week, in addition to longtime ally Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who has labored with Biden for many years. Manchin and Sinema are key votes, as each Democrats oppose altering the Senate’s guidelines to permit laws to cross with a easy majority as a substitute of the required 60-vote threshold wanted to finish debate, which may vastly have an effect on the dimensions and scope of the President’s legislative agenda.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Jasmine Wright, Arlette Saenz, DJ Judd, Nikki Carvajal and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

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