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Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, left, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on May 27. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Key Senate Republicans in talks with the White House to negotiate down the administration's trillion-dollar infrastructure package indicated this weekend that they are still looking for a deal.

Why it matters: The White House recently proposed a $1.7 trillion counteroffer to GOP calls to cut spending — below the original $2 trillion price tag, but still too high for Republican negotiators.

  • Democratic leaders could pass Biden's infrastructure plan on a party-line basis, but "the discussions between Biden and GOP senators represent one of the president’s best hopes for a bipartisan policy achievement," the Washington Post reported.

What to watch: Biden is eyeing June 9 when the surface transportation bill that forms a pillar of the administration's infrastructure plan will be brought up for a vote by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, per the Post.

  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN on Sunday that negotiations "need a clear direction" by June 7, when members return from recess.

What they're saying: Key GOP members representing their party in White House negotiations complimented the president's approach when speaking with the Post.

  • “I have had opportunities and dealings with him over the years, and he’s a straight shooter,” said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). “If he gives you his commitment, you can count on it.”
  • "I think it stems from his, kind of, innate Senate negotiating skills,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). The senator, who said she'd spoken by phone with Biden earlier in the week, told Fox News Sunday: "I think we can get to real compromise, absolutely, because we're both still in the game."
  • “I don’t want this to get into a ‘Biden doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ He totally understands,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). “All of his training is as a senator who understands the importance of finding a place where everybody can be moving forward.”

Go deeper

Amy Klobuchar: Senate should eliminate the filibuster to protect abortion rights

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the Senate should abolish the filibuster in order to protect abortion rights.

Driving the news: Klobuchar's comments come after the Supreme Court last week allowed one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S. to take effect in Texas. The Minnesota senator said Sunday the court had "greenlighted a law that is blatantly against Roe v. Wade."

Harris heading to California next week to campaign for Newsom

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Harris will campaign for California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday in the Bay Area after canceling last month because of a terrorist attack in Afghanistan killed 13 American service members.

Details: The former senator from California — and state's attorney general — will attempt to boost Democratic turnout ahead of the recall election on Sept. 14. It's the second time in California history that a gubernatorial recall campaign has succeeded in getting on the ballot.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.