President Joe Biden is putting negotiations for his massive infrastructure proposal on hold, according to reports.
The president left D.C. on Wednesday for a trip to his home state of Delaware, marking the 12th such trip since his inauguration.
“Constructive and frank conversation”
As Breitbart reported, the latest visit is part of first lady Jill Biden’s 70th birthday celebration, which took place at the Bidens’ home on Rehoboth Beach. The couple bought the residence in 2017 following Joe Biden’s vice presidency.
Aside from his wife’s birthday, however, the president reportedly had nothing on his public schedule.
Before leaving the White House, Biden met with U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to discuss the infrastructure proposal. The senator is said to be one of the GOP’s top negotiators on the contentious matter.
The two apparently made little progress in their bipartisan negotiations, but the White House later issued a statement touting the “constructive and frank conversation” they had.
According to the Biden administration, Biden and Capito “agreed to reconnect on Friday,” the same day the president is scheduled to return to the White House. As for the infrastructure deal itself, the White House and congressional Republicans have reportedly reached an impasse.
Democrats face political headwinds
Biden has pared down his bill to $1.7 trillion, which would be paid for in part by increased taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans.
Republicans rejected those terms and countered with a package tipping the scales at just under $1 trillion, much of which would come from unused COVID-19 funds. Biden and Democratic lawmakers have dismissed the proposal.
The Senate parliamentarian has ruled that Democrats will only be able to use budget reconciliation one more time this fiscal year. The process allows certain measures to pass with a simple majority in the Senate instead of 60 votes.
This could be problematic for Democrats in an evenly divided Senate where ties are broken with a vote by Vice President Kamala Harris. Reports indicate the party hoped to use reconciliation for infrastructure and another major legislative proposal this year.
Despite the delay that his latest excursion to Delaware presented to ongoing negotiations, Biden has indicated that he wants to see an infrastructure plan passed in Congress by next month.