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The Wall Street Journal

Bipartisan Senate group reaches agreement on infrastructure proposal without tax hikes

Sen. Mitt Romney, (R., Utah), walks to the Senate chamber for votes at the Capitol on Thursday. Sen. Romney is working with a bipartisan group of 10 senators negotiating an infrastructure deal with President Joe Biden.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Members of a bipartisan group of senators said they had reached an agreement on an infrastructure proposal that would be fully paid for without tax increases, pitching the plan to other lawmakers and the White House as they try to craft compromise legislation on the issue.

While the group of 10 senators didn’t reveal details of the plan in its statement, people familiar with the agreement said it called for $579 billion above expected future federal spending on infrastructure. The overall proposal would spend $974 billion over five years and $1.2 trillion if it continued over eight years, according to some of the people.

The initial agreement comes days after President Biden called off a separate set of negotiations with Senate Republicans over an infrastructure plan, instead pivoting his focus to the talks among the group of five Republicans and five Democrats.

To move forward in Congress, the plan would need the buy-in from a broader group of Republicans and Democrats, as well as the White House. In recent days, some Democrats have indicated they are skeptical that the bipartisan talks will result in a large enough package.

Republicans said the infrastructure investments wouldn’t be paid for by tax increases, but lawmakers have been tight-lipped about how they fund the package, expected to be the most contentious part of the negotiations. Sen. Mitt Romney, R- Utah, another member of the group, said earlier Thursday that the group was looking at indexing the gas tax to inflation. The federal gasoline tax hasn’t been increased since 1993.

An expanded version of this article appears at WSJ.com.

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