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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today joined Special Report on Fox News to discuss President Biden ending infrastructure negotiations.
ON END OF INFRASTRUCTURE NEGOTIATIONS: “The president ended the talks today with me on a very cordial call. I am extremely disappointed because we offered the president basically what he asked us to do the first time we met with him, which was a trillion dollars over eight years including baseline spending, and that it wouldn’t include a tax increase…that was our red line, not his. And the last offer that I got from the president had four tax increases in it and it also was much closer in numbers than what the White House is putting out right now, so I’m disappointed with that. I just feel like we missed a real opportunity here for at least 20 Republicans to join with the other Democrats to pass the most robust infrastructure package that we could have. I’m still very dedicated to it, and will be working through my committees to see that we at least get the legislation to back this up.”
ON PRESIDENT BIDEN INITIALLY AGREEING TO PARAMETERS OF A DEAL: “The president said that to us himself, very clearly, yes, in the first meeting. He said $1 trillion over eight years and you can include baseline spending. Now, it was walked back by his staff several days later, yes, that is true. But we were writing to what the president said he would negotiate to, and that’s where I think we had miscommunication there…we understood what the president was saying in that initial meeting, and from there on we kept getting further apart.”
ON DISCONNECT BETWEEN GOP GROUP AND PRESIDENT BIDEN: “I didn’t have a disconnect with what the president wanted to do. He wants a robust package and that’s what we gave him. He did mention those specifics that I mentioned before. There was subsequent conversations with the staff where it was made clear that this has to be all new spending and that was a great departure from where we had been with the president himself.”
ON DEMOCRATS CONSIDERING PARTISAN RECONCILIATION PROCESS: “I think that the reconciliation, which will be massive tax hikes on middle Americans, on farmers, on small businesses, is where they’re going to go. They’re going to include human infrastructure, massive electric vehicle vouchers, other extraneous…to what I think what a core infrastructure bill will be. I expect that’s the direction that they will go in July. I’m sure that they’re going to be working forward with the group.”
ON EVALUATING HOW NEGOTIATIONS SHOOK OUT: “I think we came forward with very honest and clear payfors where we wouldn’t have to raise taxes, where we know that what the American people believe is physical infrastructure: roads and bridges, broadband, ports, airports, rail, transit, all of the core areas. The president still had schools and VA and housing and other things that universally is not thought of, very important issues, but not thought of as core physical infrastructure. We were still not definitionally in the right place. Did we play our hand poorly? No. I think we were in it to win it for the American people. I told the president numerous times this could be a major victory for both of us. Hopefully we’ll have a major victory down the road.”
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