The two sides are a lot closer than when they started — but remain billions of dollars apart. Biden met Wednesday with Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, an exchange the White House described as “constructive and frank,” and Republicans are expected to make another counteroffer on Friday.
With only a narrow majority in the Senate, Biden would need votes from key moderates in his party, like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, to push through a deal with Democratic votes alone. Manchin has said he wants his party leaders to seriously engage with Republicans and agree on a bipartisan bill.
Biden’s original plan would have cost an estimated $2.25 trillion. He offered this week to bring his price tag down to $1 trillion but wants to ensure it amounts to new funding — not money redirected from spending already approved by Congress as Senate Republicans have been demanding.