By Robert Holly
A bipartisan group of 10 senators announced Thursday that they have reached a tentative agreement on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, a major update in one of the main storylines coming out of the Biden administration.
The latest infrastructure proposal does not include federal support for home- and community-based services (HCBS), which was a key part of President Joe Biden’s original American Jobs Plan. Instead, the bipartisan package focuses on traditional infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, airports and waterways.
“Our group — comprised of 10 Senators, five from each party — has worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies,” the group explained in a statement. “This investment would be fully paid for and not include tax increases.”
The group of 10 is made up of U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
Although the proposal scraps a $400 billion boost to HCBS, it appears to be gaining support from the White House, according to some reports out of Washington, D.C.
The first version of the American Jobs Plan included hundreds of billions of dollars to strengthen the country’s caregiving economy, with funding set aside to lift the low wages of HCBS workers and bring more people into the field.