Congressional Republicans and the White House are starting to talk about what each side can live with as part of an infrastructure package. As a glass-half-empty person, I tend to look at what each side cannot live with and look for those deal breakers. Starting with the positive – two of the three sides are talking. While Congressional Democrats do not appear eager to compromise with the GOP, sources in Washington say that President Biden genuinely does want a bipartisan deal to fix the nation’s roads, bridges, waterways and broadband. Senate Republicans indicate they could agree to a bill around $800 billion, which is still well short of the $2.3 trillion called for by the White House but up from the initial $500 billion GOP offer.
Talks are continuing this week. However, the red lines remain. Republicans will not support any reversal of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including an increase in the corporate rates. The next several weeks will dictate whether an opportunity exists for a bipartisan bill or if Democrats in Washington move on their own with a broader measure as we all expect. The President will release his Budget Request along with Treasury’s Green Book outlining their new tax policy by Memorial Day, meaning time is running out for bipartisan talks.