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Biden, Senators Reach Compromise On Trillion-Dollar Infrastructure Deal

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has reached an agreement with President Joe Biden on a plan to infuse billions of dollars in repairs and upgrades to roads, bridges and a host of other infrastructure priorities.

President Joe Biden

While details of the proposal have yet to be revealed, the pared-down compromise, which CNN reports would cost $1.2 trillion over eight years, comes after days of intensive negotiations with a group of senators, including moderate Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, Kyrsten Sinema and Jon Tester and Republicans Rob Portman, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney.

The bill is part of the president's larger $4 trillion economic agenda and would entail $560B in new spending, including more than $100B on roads and bridges, $49B on public transit, $65B on broadband infrastructure and $73B on power infrastructure, Fox Business reports.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, told The New York Times the bill also provides $40B to the Internal Revenue Service for more enforcement, a move that could lead to $100B in tax revenue gains. Another $20M in federal funds would be used for a program that is projected to lead to $180B in private financing.

The compromise represents a slimming down of Biden's initial $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal.

"No one got everything they wanted in the package," Sinema said Thursday. "We all gave some to get some."

Supporters heralded the agreement as historic, but the bill will still face scrutiny on Capitol Hill. The compromise stripped out many of Biden's spending proposals on childcare, education and efforts to combat climate change, the Times reported. It was unclear as of press time if Biden's plan to upgrade 4 million buildings across the country to help reduce carbon emissions remained in the bill. The compromise includes $47B set aside for "resilience," according to the Times, which would start to tackle the issue of climate change.

But many of those other proposals may yet be debated as Congress still plans a separate reconciliation bill that could pass without any Republican votes.

“They’ve given me their word. Where I come from, that’s good enough for me,” Biden said, referring to the five Republican senators who took part in the negotiations.

The exact financing mechanism for the plan was not revealed, but the NYT reports the bill would avoid raising taxes on the middle class — a key Biden pledge — and wouldn't reverse any of the business tax cuts that were enacted under President Donald Trump in 2017.

Wall Street appeared to cheer the deal, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping more than 300 points by mid-afternoon Thursday.

“President Biden’s agreement with a bipartisan group of senators on an infrastructure spending package will not only get hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work but will go down as a historic moment for our nation,” said Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of construction trade group the New York Building Congress. “Building new infrastructure is the tried-and-true method to getting out of an economic crisis, and we must use the lessons of the last year and a half to develop new public works that serve all communities. The road ahead is no doubt long, but today’s moment of unity is a giant step forward to heal and grow our nation. Now is the time to capitalize on this momentum, come together and rebuild our nation.”