Biden says he is close to striking an infrastructure deal By Reuters2 min read

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, U.S., October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland

BALTIMORE (Reuters) -President Joe Biden said on Thursday he was close to striking a deal to pass major infrastructure and social spending measures, after weeks of intraparty bickering among his fellow Democrats.

Biden struck a confident note on his $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal and a separate, social spending plan expected to cost under $2 trillion during a CNN town hall event in Baltimore. The legislation is at the heart of his domestic agenda.

“If we can’t eventually unite this country, we’re in deep trouble. … I do think I’ll get a deal,” he said.

The social spending plan remains a subject of pitched debate on Capitol Hill and in the White House as negotiators look for the sweet spot between progressives wanting an array of new programs and moderates worried about the cost.

As Biden seeks a final agreement in coming days, questions have emerged about whether some of his most oft-cited promises, like raising taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans might have to be dropped to ensure passage of the spending bill.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Biden would insist the legislation be paid for and not add to the deficit, which will be difficult to do without the tax increases he pushed as part of his presidential campaign last year.

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