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President Biden with Republican Sen. Susan Collins in the Oval Office of the White House in February. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

White House officials are heading to Capitol Hill Tuesday for a briefing on the status and details of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal — another sign that President Biden is serious about finding a compromise with Republican senators.

Driving the news: Biden's core negotiating team — including Louisa Terrell, the White House’s legislative affairs director, Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president and Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council — are scheduled to meet with senators, according to a person familiar with the matter.

  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) indicated Monday evening that he and the so-called "Group of 20" were in contact with the White House about a variety of meetings and would try to advance the talks before the Senate leaves at the end of the week for their July 4 recess.
  • White House officials have indicated that Biden is encouraged by the talks, but stress that how to pay for the package remains a key sticking point.
  • If Tuesday's meeting goes well, Biden is inclined to meet with the senators to try and advance the talks. He hosted Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) separately at the White House on Monday.

The big picture: Senate negotiators for the bipartisan infrastructure bill are trying to create momentum for a "too-big-to-fail" package by adding an equal number of Democratic and Republican co-sponsors.

  • The president told Manchin and Sinema on Monday that "he was encouraged by what has taken shape but that he still has questions about the policy, as well as the means for financing the bipartisan group’s proposal," according to a White House official.
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said, "We are making significant progress but it’s not over until it's over."

The other side: Progressives remain leery and are aiming for much more spending, potentially in multiple packages.

  • "Make no mistake: I'm not voting for some bipartisan deal until I see every other part of the infrastructure package, and know that, in total, we have what we need," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told Axios.
  • "We're not going to have an infrastructure package that, when the train leaves the station, child care is left on the platform, along with clean energy" and other priorities.

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats release full text of Biden's $3.5T reconciliation package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday unveiled the full text of President Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats are racing to finish negotiations and get the bill on the floor as soon as possible so Pelosi can fulfill her promises to both House centrists and progressives about the timing and sequencing of passing the party's dual infrastructure packages.

Sep 24, 2021 - Health

Manchin: "We need to stabilize" Medicare before expanding

Sen. Joe Manchin. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Thursday that Democrats "need to stabilize" Medicare before expanding the program, The Hill reports.

Why it matters: Progressives are hoping to expand Medicare through a broad social spending bill, which Democratic senators have urged Manchin to support. Manchin's vote is critical in passing any Democratic bill in the 50-50 Senate.

Updated Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's big bet backfires

Two key dealmakers — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) — leave a luncheon in the Capitol yesterday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/L.A. Times via Getty Images

President Biden bit off too much, too fast in trying to ram through what would be the largest social expansion in American history, top Democrats privately say.

Why it matters: At the time Biden proposed it, he had his mind set on a transformational accomplishment that would put him in the pantheon of FDR and JFK.