Members of Maine’s congressional delegation are connected to two emerging infrastructure proposals. A bipartisan group of senators, including U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, released a statement, saying they had reached a “realistic” compromise that would be paid for entirely and not include tax increases. The plan is set to cost about $1.2 billion but the specifics of what it included and where funding would come from are not yet clear.
The bipartisan agreement comes days after talks between President Joe Biden’s administration and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia.
It also comes on the heels of a more detailed bipartisan framework released earlier this week by the House Problem Solvers caucus, a group that includes U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of the 2nd District. That plan calls for $1.25 trillion in funding over eight years, including $761 billion in new spending, to support highways, transit, trains and clean energy, among other projects.
Both parties have indicated they want to pay for the bill without deficit spending, but Republicans have generally balked at Biden’s proposed tax increases on the wealthiest Americans while the Democratic president has suggested he will not support user fees.
As one possible funding source, Golden pointed to an earlier Biden proposal to increase enforcement by the IRS, which could bring in billions more in revenue each year, according to some estimates, amid declining audits for wealthy Americans. But he said negotiations were ongoing with senators and the White House and he didn’t want to take options off the table.