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Tester Joins Lawmakers Working On Pared-Down Infrastructure Proposal

Senator Jon Tester (D) - Montana
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Tester Joins Lawmakers Working On Pared-Down Infrastructure Proposal
Tester Joins Lawmakers Working On Pared-Down Infrastructure Proposal

Montana’s senior U.S. senator is among a bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers working on an infrastructure deal after President Joe Biden ended talks with a core group of Republicans earlier in the week.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester told WBUR’s Peter O’Dowd on Here & Now that while the package from the bipartisan group is not a done deal, it could come with a price tag of just under $600 billion.

“It’s a serious investment. It’ll make a big difference — if we’re able to get bipartisan support to get this through.”

Tester told Here & Now that the package could do a lot of good creating funding for roads, bridges and broadband but he is disappointed it does not include funding to address costs of housing, child care and senior care.

Congressional Republicans balked at Biden’s opening offer of a $2 trillion infrastructure spending plan. NPR reported talks of spending half that amount also fizzled.

Katie Schoettler, a spokesperson for Republican Sen. Steve Daines, says the senator has not seen the bipartisan group’s proposal, which he would need to do before agreeing to a price tag for any bill.

Schoettler says Daines wants to see a bipartisan package that funds broadband and work on traditional infrastructure, like roads, ports, bridges and sewers, but he has concerns over recent federal spending levels.

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