Biden announces bipartisan infrastructure agreement

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Maureen Chowdhury and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 5:58 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021
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4:03 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Biden on bipartisan deal: "Neither side got everything they want"

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

President Biden today characterized the bipartisan deal on an infrastructure package as a "true bipartisan effort," noting that it is a compromise in that neither Republicans or Democrats got everything they wanted.

"Let me be clear — neither side got everything they want in this deal," he said, speaking at the White House this afternoon. "That's what it means to compromise. And it reflects something important, it reflects consensus. The heart of democracy. It requires consensus."

He also suggested the agreement could be a harbinger of a more bipartisan era of dealmaking in the Beltway in the months to come. 

“This group of senators, and all the American people can be proud today, because we reaffirmed once again, we are the United States of America,” Biden said.

“There's not a single thing beyond our capacity that we aren't able to do, when we do it together,” The President added.

The agreement, hashed out among 5 Republican senators and 5 Democratic senators Wednesday evening, would have a total cost of $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $559 billion in new spending, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

This proposal is significantly less than what Biden had initially proposed. The President initially put forward a $2.25 trillion plan to rebuild the nation's infrastructure and shift to greener energy over the next eight years.

"It reflects something important," said Biden. "It reflects consensus. The heart of democracy requires consensus."

This deal "signals to ourselves and to the world that American democracy can deliver, he said. "Because of that, it represents an important step forward for our country."

Watch here:

CNN's Kate Sullivan and Phil Mattingly contributed reporting to this post. 

2:37 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Biden: "The bipartisan agreement represents the largest investment in public transit in American history"

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden championed the bipartisan infrastructure deal, calling it "the largest investment in public transit in American history."

"I might add that the largest investment of rail since the creation of Amtrak, you all know I have nothing but affection for Amtrak, having traveled over a million miles on it, commuting every day. But it's a big deal," Biden said today in a speech from the White House. "This agreement is going to create new financing authority that is going to leverage capital on infrastructure and clean energy projects. It will provide folks with good-paying jobs that can't be outsourced. The kind of jobs that provide a middle class life, with a little bit of breathing room."

More on the deal: Biden said earlier Thursday that he had agreed to a deal on infrastructure with a bipartisan group of senators after White House officials and the senators had a massive breakthrough the night before in their infrastructure negotiations.

Both Republican and Democratic senators said Wednesday evening there was an agreement reached with White House officials and 10 senators on a bipartisan infrastructure deal. And on Thursday afternoon, Biden said he had signed off on the agreement.

Watch here:

CNN's Kate Sullivan and Phil Mattingly contributed reporting to this post. 

2:38 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Biden: Bipartisan infrastructure agreement "will create millions of American jobs"

President Biden said that he was "pleased" to report that a bipartisan agreement was reached on infrastructure with a group of bipartisan senators.

"I said many times before, there's nothing our nation can't do when we decide to do it together. Do it as on nation," Biden said during remarks at the White House.

"I'm pleased to report that a bipartisan group of senators, five Democrats, five Republicans, part of a larger group have come together to enforce an agreement that will create millions of American jobs and modernize our American infrastructure to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st century," the President said.

Biden thanked the bipartisan group for working together and for raising ideas and concerns with him and Vice President Kamala Harris.

"We devoted far too much energy on in competing with each other and not nearly enough competing with the rest of the world to win the 21st century. The investments we'll be making as a result of this deal are long overdue. They'll put Americans to work in good-paying jobs, repairing our roads and bridges. They'll deliver high speed internet to every American home, bringing down the price that people pay now for internet service. And it will close the American digital divide," Biden said.

Watch here:

2:12 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

NOW: Biden speaks after announcing deal on infrastructure

From CNN's Jason Hoffman, Kate Sullivan and Phil Mattingly

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden is delivering remarks now from the White House East Room about the infrastructure deal.

The President told reporters earlier today that he had agreed to a deal on infrastructure with a bipartisan group of senators after White House officials and the senators had a massive breakthrough the night before in their infrastructure negotiations.

Both Republican and Democratic senators said Wednesday evening there was an agreement reached with White House officials and 10 senators on a bipartisan infrastructure deal. And on Thursday afternoon, Biden said he had signed off on the agreement.

What we know about the deal: Biden said Republicans and the bipartisan group of senators did not support the issues outlined in his American Families Plan, which calls for an additional $1.8 trillion federal spending on education, childcare and other priorities. The Families Plan is the second part of the President's proposal to revitalize the nation and ensure a more equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

A lot of work remains on the policy and drafting side of the proposal. But Biden and his team have grown increasingly bullish on the pathway a bipartisan agreement lays out for moving the full scope of the President's $4 trillion economic agenda.

Many details of the plan remain unclear. But the total cost of the plan is $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $559 billion in new spending, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

This proposal is significantly less than what Biden had initially proposed. The President initially put forward a $2.25 trillion plan to rebuild the nation's infrastructure and shift to greener energy over the next eight years.

Read more about the deal here.

2:43 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

White House releases breakdown of bipartisan infrastructure deal

Ahead of President Biden’s remarks on today’s infrastructure agreement, the White House released details of the deal.

Here are some of the things they outlined:

  • The package will total $973 billion in new and baseline spending over five years, and $1,209 billion in new and baseline spending over 8 years
  • Among proposed payfors, the White House lists reducing the IRS tax gap, redirecting unused funds from unemployment insurance and the 2020 American Rescue Plan, and reinstating superfund fees for chemicals.
  • Included in the package, in addition to traditional infrastructure investments like roads and bridges, are additional investments in wireless broadband, climate resilience and investments in electric vehicles, including chargers along highways and a new fleet of school and transit buses to reduce emissions.
  • The plan also includes an update and expanded rail system, which it boasts “is the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.”

Read more about the deal here.

2:44 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

This is what Biden had written on a notecard when speaking to reporters about the infrastructure deal

 From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Jason Hoffman

When President Biden emerged for what seemed liked impromptu remarks, he was actually carrying a prepared notecard with a script thanking the senators for their work.

Biden also seems to have blown off the first line someone wrote for him, “Welcome to infrastructure week!"

In this close-up of a photo captured by AFP photographer Jim Watson, Biden's notecard is visible:

President Joe Biden holds a notecard as he speaks to the media outside the White House after a meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators on infrastructure negotiations on Thursday.
President Joe Biden holds a notecard as he speaks to the media outside the White House after a meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators on infrastructure negotiations on Thursday. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

2:09 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

White House carefully choreographed this day for maximum impact

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

White House officials worked to carefully choreograph this day in an effort to secure maximum impact – and momentum – for the bipartisan agreement.

Even before President Biden went into his meeting with senators he’d made clear he was going to support the agreement, according to multiple sources. Presidential remarks were likely. A tweet announcing the deal was prepared. And Biden himself chose to join senators at their planned White House stakeout to announce the deal himself.

There’s a strategy behind the day on the messaging side – securing a bipartisan deal is a win for a President who promised he could deliver on what many said was aspirational in the current climate.

But the public moves today can also be viewed through the legislative lens – White House officials are keenly aware that they have a long road ahead to lock in support for the agreement. They are confident they will get there, officials say. But working to amp up momentum ahead of the process ahead was seen as a valuable asset.

The meeting itself did include a rundown of provisions, but Biden left little doubt where he stood from the moment he entered. Instead, the meeting was more focused on the President and senators discussing the importance of a bipartisan deal given where things stand with the country, in the Senate, and with dilapidated American infrastructure.

As Biden spoke to reporters with the senators after the meeting, his top negotiating team – Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Louisa Terrell, Biden’s legislative affairs chief, stood with Vice President Kamala Harris about 20 feet away near the entrance to the West Wing with wide smiles on their faces.

1:30 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Bipartisan group of senators tout infrastructure agreement

From CNN's DJ Judd

A bipartisan group of senators took the opportunity to tout what they called “a historic investment infrastructure” at the White House Thursday.

“Listen, I appreciate the fact that the President came out today to express what we all believe, which is we didn't get everything we wanted, but we came up with a good compromise that's going to help the American people,” Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio told reporters. “This is about infrastructure — every president over the past four or five presidents has talked about infrastructure packages. You may recall that President Trump proposing a $2 trillion infrastructure package. Today we are announcing the framework for an historic investment in infrastructure.”

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema took her own victory lap, telling reporters, “There are many who say that bipartisanship is dead in Washington, DC, and across this country. But this historic agreement today between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and with the President of the United States shows that when a group of people who are committed with shared values to solving the problems and challenges our country faces, we can use bipartisanship to fix the problems.”

“No one got everything they wanted in the package. We all gave some to get some, because what we did was put first the needs of our country,” Sinema added

“This is important, we've agreed on the price tag, the scope, and how to pay for it. It was not easy to get agreement on all three, but it was essential — it was essential to show the American people that the Senate can function, that we can work in a bipartisan way, and it sends an important message to the world as well, that America can function, can get things done, and particularly on an issue that as Rob mentioned, we've been talking about the need for a large infrastructure package for decades. Today we are delivering,” Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who’s served as a swing vote in the Senate, also took the opportunity to praise the work from today’s group, telling reporters, “We have an infrastructure package that meets the needs of the country for the 21st century. And I think it's a tremendous opportunity for us to show the rest of the world that we can still get big things done in a bipartisan way and lead the rest of the world.”

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said the agreement was in the spirit of the late Sen. John Warner, whose funeral Biden spoke at yesterday.

“I mentioned to the President and Susan and I, a number of us, Joe and others yesterday, were at the funeral of my friend John Warner, and my hope is when this framework becomes law, that we do it in the spirit of John Warner, and I would hope that I could convince any colleagues that we name this legislation after him.”

2:17 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

McConnell won't say if he supports bipartisan agreement

From CNN's Ted Barrett

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell remained silent when asked questions about an infrastructure deal that was reached between a group of bipartisan senators and the White House.

McConnell was headed to a GOP lunch where the deal will be a likely topic of discussion among members who must decide whether to back it.