Biden believes Capito's counter-proposal to spend $978 billion on so-called "hard" infrastructure does not meet the "essential needs" of the country to improve roads and bridges, fund clean energy projects, or spur the pandemic-hampered economy by creating jobs, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
"He offered his gratitude to her for her efforts and good faith conversations, but expressed his disappointment that, while he was willing to reduce his plan by more than $1 trillion, the Republican group had increased their proposed new investments by only $150 billion," Psaki pointed out in a statement Tuesday of a phone call between the two.
Biden siphoned some provisions in his initial $2.3 trillion infrastructure package from March into other legislative measures, bringing a new $1.7 trillion proposal to the table last month. Capito originally put forward a $568 billion framework in April, spiked it to $928 billion last month, before signaling she was prepared to add another $50 billion, just last week.
Biden will now concentrate on negotiations with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including the likes of Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Mitt Romney of Utah, as well as Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Psaki announced.
On Wednesday night, Romney and Manchin were seen entering the office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The president spoke with Manchin on Tuesday, along with Cassidy and, Psaki said. Biden also called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Schumer, a New York Democrat, to lay the groundwork to pass his infrastructure plan via the fast-track process known as reconciliation if bipartisan talks fail.
"The president is committed to moving his economic legislation through Congress this summer, and is pursuing multiple paths to get this done," she said.
Capito echoed Biden, declaring she was "disappointed" by the president's decision to end their negotiations and citing his insistence that taxes be raised to pay for his package.
“In our discussions with the president, he himself made it clear that he was willing to accept an offer around $1 trillion, that baseline spending would and could be included, and that a plan could stretch over an 8-year period of time," she said.
"The president also understood one of our red lines, which was not undoing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which has helped so many Americans," she added. "Our latest offer, coupled with legislation the Senate is expected to pass today, would have exceeded the president’s threshold."