Centrist senators announce a “realistic” agreement on an infrastructure plan.

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A bipartisan group of centrist senators announced Thursday that they have reached an agreement in principle on a framework for an infrastructure plan, as they mount a precarious bid to secure the blessing of the Biden administration, congressional leaders and grassroots lawmakers.

The statement, released by five Democrats and five Republicans, offered few details on the substance of the deal, beyond that it was “a realistic compromise framework for modernizing infrastructure. and our country’s energy technologies “which would be fully paid for without increasing taxes.

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But the preliminary framework is expected to include around $ 579 billion in new spending, under an overall program that would cost around $ 974 billion over five years and around $ 1.2 trillion over eight years, according to two people familiar with the program. details, who leaked them. on condition of anonymity. The Biden administration had previously signaled its support for a program that spent at least $ 1,000 billion in new funds over eight years, in addition to expected maintenance of existing programs.

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The announcement came after a dizzying day on Capitol Hill, where senators involved in the talks offered conflicting assessments of their progress. It was unclear how quickly the group would unveil specific details or release legislation, although members of the group said they were discussing the proposal with their colleagues and the White House.

The preliminary agreement, which outlines funding for traditional physical infrastructure projects, faces headwinds, despite President Biden’s direct encouragement and personal outreach. Lawmakers and aides from both parties remain skeptical that the group can muster the 60 votes needed to overcome a Senate obstruction, given deep divisions over funding levels and how to pay them.

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