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LIVE: 'We have a deal': Biden, senators reach bipartisan agreement on infrastructure plan |

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LIVE: 'We have a deal': Biden, senators reach bipartisan agreement on infrastructure plan

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that “we have a deal,” signaling a bipartisan agreement on a $953 billion infrastructure plan that would achieve his top legislative priority and validate his efforts to reach across the political aisle.

Biden made a surprise appearance in front of the cameras with members of the group of senators, Republicans and Democrats, after an agreement was reached Thursday. Details of the deal were scarce to start, but the pared-down plan, with $559 billion in new spending, has rare bipartisan backing and could open the door to the president’s more sweeping $4 trillion proposals later on.

The president said not everyone got what they wanted and that other White House priorities would be done separately in a congressional budget process known as reconciliation.

“We’ve struck a deal,” Biden then tweeted. “A group of senators – five Democrats and five Republicans – has come together and forged an infrastructure agreement that will create millions of American jobs.”

The senators have struggled over how to pay for the new spending but left for the White House with a sense of confidence that funding issues had been addressed.

Biden unveiled the first phase of his “Build Back Better” package in March, which would have spent $2.3 trillion on four main hard infrastructure categories — transportation; public water, health and broadband systems; community care for seniors; and innovation research and development.

The major hurdle for a bipartisan agreement has been financing. Biden demanded no new taxes on anyone making less than $400,000, while Republican lawmakers were unwilling to raise taxes beyond such steps as indexing the gasoline tax to inflation. But senators departed for the White House Thursday with a sense of confidence that funding issues had been addressed.


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“We’re still refining the details, but from my perspective, it is paid for," said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican and one of 10 lawmakers who met with Biden for roughly 30 minutes.

Biden has sought $1.7 trillion in his American Jobs Plan, part of nearly $4 trillion in broad infrastructure spending on roads, bridges and broadband internet but also including the so-called care economy of child care centers, hospitals and elder care.

With Republicans opposed to Biden’s proposed corporate tax rate increase, from 21% to 28%, the group has looked at other ways to raise revenue. Biden rejected their idea to allow gas taxes paid at the pump to rise with inflation, viewing it as a financial burden on American drivers.

The broad reconciliation bill would likely include tax increases on the wealthy and corporations, so tension still exists over funding for some Republicans and business groups. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce came out Thursday applauding the bipartisan infrastructure agreement, but Neil Bradley, its executive vice president, warned that “some in Congress are trying to torpedo the deal” unless they get trillions in additional spending.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.