Mr. Biden planned to continue talking with members of the group while traveling to Europe this week for the Group of 7 summit, Ms. Psaki said, and dispatched Steve Ricchetti, his counselor; Louisa Terrell, his head of legislative affairs; and Brian Deese, his National Economic Council director, to carry on talks while he was gone.
June 8, 2021, 9:47 p.m. ET
Ms. Terrell and Mr. Deese have also been in touch with members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, including Representatives Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey, and Brian Fitzpatrick, Republican of Pennsylvania, on an infrastructure plan. Mr. Gottheimer has been keeping in touch with Mr. Cassidy and Ms. Sinema.
Members of the Senate group, which has sought to position itself as a catalyst for compromise in an evenly divided chamber, have been quietly discussing their own framework for an infrastructure agreement for weeks. Not long after Ms. Capito reluctantly announced her talks with Mr. Biden were off, they stole away to a cramped basement office to further discuss their alternative.
“I’m trying to figure out a way that we can get an infrastructure package that can find support, so let’s make this happen,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska. “Around this place there’s a lot of things that appear to be dead that take on a life of their own afterward.”
Fortified in part with a pizza delivery, the group met for hours on Tuesday night, and senators emerged pleased with their progress but unwilling to divulge specifics about their plan’s framework and what hurdles remained.
- A new year, a new budget: The 2022 fiscal year for the federal government begins on October 1, and President Biden has revealed what he’d like to spend, starting then. But any spending requires approval from both chambers of Congress.
- Ambitious total spending: President Biden would like the federal government to spend $6 trillion in the 2022 fiscal year, and for total spending to rise to $8.2 trillion by 2031. That would take the United States to its highest sustained levels of federal spending since World War II, while running deficits above $1.3 trillion through the next decade.
- Infrastructure plan: The budget outlines the president’s desired first year of investment in his American Jobs Plan, which seeks to fund improvements to roads, bridges, public transit and more with a total of $2.3 billion over eight years.
- Families plan: The budget also addresses the other major spending proposal Biden has already rolled out, his American Families Plan, aimed at bolstering the United States’ social safety net by expanding access to education, reducing the cost of child care and supporting women in the work force.
- Mandatory programs: As usual, mandatory spending on programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare make up a significant portion of the proposed budget. They are growing as America’s population ages.
- Discretionary spending: Funding for the individual budgets of the agencies and programs under the executive branch would reach around $1.5 trillion in 2022, a 16 percent increase from the previous budget.
- How Biden would pay for it: The president would largely fund his agenda by raising taxes on corporations and high earners, which would begin to shrink budget deficits in the 2030s. Administration officials have said tax increases would fully offset the jobs and families plans over the course of 15 years, which the budget request backs up. In the meantime, the budget deficit would remain above $1.3 trillion each year.
“This group is making a lot of progress,” Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, told reporters. “But we have a total of 100 senators, not eight.”
But it remains unclear whether the group could successfully bridge the divides that derailed the discussions with Ms. Capito. Mr. Biden has repeatedly suggested increasing taxes to help pay for the plan and has outlined a sweeping economic agenda that broadens the traditional definition of infrastructure beyond core physical projects, which Republicans have repeatedly rejected.