Biden and Capito, the top Republican on the Senate Committee of Environment and Public Works, had been in talks for weeks on a major infrastructure plan, but hit a roadblock over funding priorities and whether tax hikes should be part of a deal.
Biden “informed Senator Capito today that the latest offer from her group did not, in his view, meet the essential needs of our country to restore our roads and bridges, prepare us for our clean energy future, and create jobs,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Capito said she and other GOP negotiators “consistently worked in good faith with President Biden and were optimistic that we could reach a bipartisan agreement for the sake of the country.”
The group she led delivered several counteroffers, including an approximately $978 billion proposal that Biden rejected on Friday.
“Despite the progress we made in our negotiations, the president continued to respond with offers that included tax increases as his pay for, instead of several practical options that would have not been harmful to individuals, families, and small businesses,” Capito said.
Biden’s first plan was $2.3 trillion and included hundreds of billions for elder and disabled care, which Republicans decried as an odd fit for an infrastructure package, along with a hike of the corporate tax rate, which would partially roll back a key provision of the 2017 GOP tax reform bill.
The White House later offered a $1.7 trillion proposal that still included tax increases.