White House, Bipartisan Senate Group to Meet on Infrastructure Deal | Voice of America

U.S. President Joe Biden is set to host a bipartisan group of U.S. senators at the White House on Thursday after they signaled progress toward an agreement on a major package of infrastructure spending.

Discussions in recent days have focused on a spending plan of more than $1 trillion, split roughly evenly between new and repurposed funding.

Specific targets of action including improving the nation’s roads and electrical grid and widening access to broadband internet.

“White House senior staff had two productive meetings today with the bipartisan group of Senators who have been negotiating about infrastructure,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement late Wednesday. “The group made progress towards an outline of a potential agreement, and the President has invited the group to come to the White House tomorrow to discuss this in-person.”

The group includes 21 senators and is the latest in a series of efforts by Democrats and Republicans to work out an agreement on the size, priorities and funding sources for a major infrastructure program.

Biden earlier proposed a package of about $2.3 trillion, and later trimmed it to $1.7 trillion in a bid to earn the Republican support needed to advance the measure in the evenly divided Senate.

One of the main points of contention has been how to pay for the plan. Biden has advocated raising the corporate tax rate, but Republicans have opposed that step after successfully cutting the rate during the previous administration of President Donald Trump.