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Key GOP senators balk at terms of Biden infrastructure bill

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Kyrsten Sinema
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The New York Times
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“And he expects they’ll do the same,” she said.The path ahead is now uncertain.Senators launched into calls Friday seeking answers from the White House after a tumultuous past month of on-again, off-again negotiations over Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure proposals, his top legislative priority.The Democrats’ two-track strategy has been to consider both the bipartisan deal and their own more sweeping priorities side by side, a way to assure liberal lawmakers the smaller deal won’t be the only one.But Biden’s vow to essentially veto or refuse to sign the bipartisan accord without the companion package being negotiated by Democrats, which is now eyed at nearly $6 trillion in child care, Medicare and other investments, was an additional step that throws the process into doubt. Biden reached out Friday to the lead Democratic negotiator, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and reiterated his strong support for the compromise agreement, according to a readout from the White House.Tensions appeared to calm later in the day, after senators from the group of negotiators convened a conference call, according to another person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.A bipartisan accord has been important for the White House as it tries to show centrist Democrats including Sinema, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and others that it is working across the aisle before Biden tries to muscle the broader package through Congress under special budget rules that allow majority passage without the need for GOP votes.Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky set the tone for the sudden turn of events, signaling late Thursday where the party was headed.He framed the argument in a floor speech and a subsequent Fox News interview, declaring that Biden’s messaging from his two news conferences Thursday “makes your head spin.”McConnell has been highly skeptical of Biden’s agenda, vowing his “100%” focus to defeat it.

As said here by LISA MASCARO