The bipartisan group of Senators negotiating an infrastructure package will head to the White House to meet with President Joe Biden on Thursday.
The lawmakers appeared optimistic after closed-door meetings with White House officials Wednesday.
“We’ve agreed to a framework on the entire package,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “Republicans and Democrats have come together along with the White House, and we’ve agreed on a framework and we’re going to be heading to the White House tomorrow.”
This appears to put lawmakers on firmer path to deliver on one of Biden’s top legislative priorities after weeks of impasse over the details of the massive package. However, lawmakers signaled that no final deal is certain, particularly because of the bill’s proposed $2.25 trillion price tag.
Biden’s American Jobs Plan would be funded by higher taxes on corporations. Republicans, however, want a smaller cost and have opposed raising corporate taxes.
“I think we have a good, balanced group of [funding sources], and that was important to both sides. I will say, in good faith, we tried to get there. We didn’t agree on everything, but we were able to get there,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is leading the GOP negotiators.
“We’ve had a framework as you know for the last couple of weeks, and we have 21 of us agreeing to that. Now we’re going to fan out and talk to” colleagues, he said.
Yet, neither side has laid out any specifics of the agreed-upon framework. White House officials also met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Wednesday, but they did not disclose any additional details.
“I would call this a much sturdier framework,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said. “We wouldn’t be going to the White House if we didn’t think we had something.”
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, acknowledged that briefing Biden and leadership on both sides is “the last big step.”
She added, “It’s really important that before we go home, we get the details ironed out. But considering where we started and where we are, both sides negotiated in good faith and this is important.”