Biden Ends Infrastructure Talks With Republicans, Falling Short of a Deal
WASHINGTON — President Biden on Tuesday ended a weekslong effort to reach a deal with Senate Republicans on an expansive infrastructure plan, cutting off negotiations that had failed to persuade them to embrace his bid to pour $1 trillion into the nation’s aging public works system and safety-net programs.
It was a major setback to Mr. Biden’s effort to attract Republican support for his top domestic priority, which had always faced long odds over the size, scope and financing of the package. Most Republicans have made it clear they are willing to spend only a fraction of what Democrats want on a much narrower initiative, and balked at any tax increases to pay for it.
In a final telephone call on Tuesday with Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the leading Republican negotiator, after days of back-and-forth discussions, Mr. Biden made clear that the divide was too large to bridge.
The breakdown did not close off the possibility of a bipartisan compromise entirely, and the White House signaled that the president would continue seeking one. He shifted his focus to a bipartisan group of centrist senators who have been working separately on an alternative, calling three of them personally to cheer on their efforts and encourage them to work with top White House officials to hammer out a deal. But even if the group can agree on a plan palatable to Mr. Biden, there is no guarantee that enough Republicans would accept it.