https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/557417-white-house-to-end-infrastructure-talks-with-capito-shift-focus-to

President BidenJoe BidenBiden DOJ adopts Trump’s liability stance in E. Jean Carroll defamation suit Boston mayor fires city’s police commissioner months after domestic abuse allegations emerge Book claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election MORE is cutting off infrastructure negotiations with a GOP group led by Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBipartisan group prepping infrastructure plan as White House talks lag Overnight Energy: Climate emerges as infrastructure sticking point | US recovers millions in cryptocurrency paid to pipeline hackers | Chief scientist: NOAA is ‘ billion agency trapped in a .5 billion budget’ On The Money: White House sees paths forward on infrastructure despite stalled talks | Biden battles Dem divides | FBI seizes bitcoin ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline MORE (R-W.Va.) after weeks of talks failed to produce a deal.

He will instead move forward on discussions with a bipartisan group of senators.

Biden and Capito spoke Tuesday but remained far apart on a deal. The White House as a result is shifting to talks with a group that includes Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBipartisan group prepping infrastructure plan as White House talks lag On The Money: White House sees paths forward on infrastructure despite stalled talks | Biden battles Dem divides | FBI seizes bitcoin ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline White House sees paths forward on infrastructure despite stalled negotiations MORE (R-Ohio) and other Senate moderates, such as Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterPro-gun groups step up lobbying campaign against Biden ATF pick Biden ‘allies’ painting him into a corner Democrats set for filibuster brawl amid escalating tensions MORE (D-Mont.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPro-gun groups step up lobbying campaign against Biden ATF pick Pence: Trump and I may never ‘see eye to eye’ on events of Jan. 6 White House: Biden will not appoint presidential Jan. 6 commission MORE (R-Alaska).

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The president will engage with those lawmakers while in Europe for the next week, and Cabinet officials like Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegIs the infrastructure bill a bridge too far? The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden, Harris take US goals abroad Juan Williams: Biden should go it alone MORE and Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmGranholm launches ‘Earthshot’ goal of reducing hydrogen energy cost to The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden, Harris take US goals abroad Divisions remain on infrastructure as clock ticks on bipartisan deal MORE will also play a leading role.

Members of the bipartisan group include Sens. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaBipartisan group prepping infrastructure plan as White House talks lag Democrats reach turning point with Manchin Cher apologizes for confusing Sinema, Gillibrand MORE (D-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and other Senate moderates, such as Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). The senators plan to release a proposal by the end of the week.

An administration official stressed that Capito participated in the negotiations in good faith, and that Biden “has a very positive opinion of her.” The West Virginia Republican would be a welcome member of bipartisan talks moving forward, the official added.

Biden and Capito have spoken by phone or in person several times since the president announced his $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan in late March. Capito, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has led a group of GOP senators in the talks with Biden.

Capito on Tuesday said the discussions were always respectful and candid, but she expressed disappointment at Biden’s decision to cut off negotiations.

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“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,” Capito said in a statement on Tuesday.

“However, this does not mean bipartisanship isn’t feasible,” Capito added, citing legislation in the Environment and Public Works Committee supported by lawmakers from both parties.

The administration official noted that Biden came down nearly $1 trillion from his original proposal, while the Republican group offered only $330 billion in new spending, a $150 billion increase from when talks started.

The two main sticking points ended up being the GOP group’s refusal to significantly increase the amount of new investments, as well as their inability to specify ways to pay for the package. Biden has proposed increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans, while Republicans have balked at tax increases in general.

The White House this week made clear that it sees other paths to passing an infrastructure package beyond the talks that were stalling with Capito.

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiDemocrats reach turning point with Manchin The Memo: Political winds shift against Biden Overnight Energy: Climate emerges as infrastructure sticking point | US recovers millions in cryptocurrency paid to pipeline hackers | Chief scientist: NOAA is ‘ billion agency trapped in a .5 billion budget’ MORE pointed to the bipartisan talks taking place on Capitol Hill, as well as the individual infrastructure bills making their way through Congress that have overlap with Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

Updated at 5:10 p.m.

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