PHOENIX — President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators, including Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, who helped lead the negotiations, announced Thursday they reached a deal on an infrastructure plan. $1.2 trillion over 8 years.
There are several proposals on how to fund it, including stepping up IRS enforcement. But no new taxes are being considered.
The White House says it will be the largest investment in the nation’s infrastructure in a century.
After a 30 minute meeting at the White House, the president and 21 senators, 11 Republicans, and 10 Democrats announced the deal.
“This demonstrates Republicans and Democrats can work together on getting things done for everyday people,” Sinema said in a phone call with Arizona reporters.
Sinema and Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman led the negotiations between a bipartisan group of senators and the White House.
“Neither side got everything they wanted,” said the president, “That’s what it means to compromise.”
Sinema says Arizona will see billions of dollars in infrastructure projects. $110 billion will be dedicated to modernizing and maintaining roads and bridges. Billions more will be dedicated to broadband, transportation, border protection, and what Sinema refers to as resiliency projects.
“Our legislation invests in water storage. We do desalinization, water conservation, dam safety. We fully fund the aging infrastructure account,” Sinema said. Sinema said there will also be infrastructure money dedicated to fighting and mitigating wildfires.
Senator Sinema’s insistence on supporting the filibuster and working to reach bipartisan agreements often puts her at odds with Arizona’s progressive Democrats. On Wednesday, 10 people were arrested during a protest at her Phoenix senate office.
Her success on the infrastructure bill may have little sway with those people, especially after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said of the infrastructure bill, “We will not pass it until the Senate passes a bipartisan bill and the reconciliation bill.”
When asked about Pelosi’s comments Sinema said, “I will approach the next step working across party lines working with my colleagues and working to find solutions to the rest of President Biden’s priorities.”
The infrastructure package does not include any increase to the gasoline tax or additional taxes to anyone earning under $400,000 a year.