That bipartisan group that’s now negotiating, called the G20, short for Gang of 20 if Politico is to be believed (I prefer “The Pretenders”) consists of 10 “moderates” from each party. Here are two of those Republicans: Mitt Romney and Rob Portman.
Meanwhile, Capito is busily revising recent history and poisoning the bipartisan well. “I’m a bit disappointed and frustrated that the White House really kept moving the ball on me and then just finally brought me negotiations that were untenable and then ended the negotiations altogether,” she said on Fox News. The White House, from the beginning, has had two set-in-stone requirements: No new taxes (or fees) on anyone making less than $400,000 annually, and no failure. They might have moved one ball—after the Republicans decided to take money away from pandemic relief to fund their plan, the White House said no, that’s not going to fly. Capito did raise her offers, but without any valid mechanisms for paying for it—new revenue on the people and corporations who can afford it.
Biden did come down on his initial bid, significantly. Like, by about half. He’s dropped from a $2.3 trillion absolutely necessary infrastructure plan to $1 trillion in new spending. The tax hike to 28% that he was going to impose on corporations has been axed, with a new minimum tax of 15%.
It’s as if that never happened with Capito. “While I appreciate President Biden’s willingness to devote so much time and effort to these negotiations, he ultimately chose not to accept the very robust and targeted infrastructure package, and instead, end our discussions,” she said in a statement. Republicans just can’t not be the victims in any scenario, and here she is pretending to have been grievously abused and deceived by Biden, as if he hadn’t been making his position abundantly clear from the outset.
She’s doing her best, undoubtedly with Mitch McConnell at her elbow, to give Republicans every excuse to derail this effort. That is, after they waste a few more months of all our time. That is McConnell’s agenda, always. And if there’s any doubt McConnell has absolutely no intention of giving Biden a win here:
And if that’s not clear enough, here’s his No. 2 guy spelling it out as well.
Maybe, just maybe, this latest effort in futility will prove that to Manchin and Sinema. If, that is, they actually give a damn about getting something accomplished.