- The Washington Times - Monday, June 21, 2021

President Biden is expected to press lawmakers on reaching a deal to pay for a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, but the timeline for negotiations is slipping away, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

He doesn’t feel that time is unlimited, and it is not weeks in his view in terms of moving forward and seeing if there is a bipartisan path forward,” she told reporters.

Ms. Psaki said the president is “eager” to have discussions with lawmakers over the next couple of days and address their concerns.

A slimmed-down infrastructure proposal totaling $1.2 trillion much less than Mr. Biden originally wanted, has been gaining support in the Senate. But some lawmakers have raised concerns about how it would be funded.

Some lawmakers have suggested raising the federal gasoline tax to pay for the bill, an idea that Mr. Biden has repeatedly rejected. Ms. Psaki said Monday the gas tax proposal would amount to a tax increase on the middle class.

Still, Mr. Biden views the infrastructure package as critical to fueling the country’s post-pandemic economic growth. He initially pushed for a $4 trillion proposal to be spent on a range of infrastructure projects, including climate change.

Ms. Psaki said Monday the White House views the infrastructure negotiations as a multistep process.

“There is a reconciliation process that’s ongoing, and that addresses and includes a number of the president’s priorities,” she said.

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