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Remarks Prior to Meeting With Republican Senators on Infrastructure and Jobs Legislation and an Exchange With Reporters

May 13, 2021

The President. Well, you in the press may be getting tired of seeing me all day today. I'm going to see you again later too. But I hope my colleagues aren't tired of seeing me; they just got here. [Laughter]

Look, what we're doing is—at the request of—mutual request of us getting together, getting leading Republicans in the Senate together—to see if we can work out something on a compromise on infrastructure. And I know they're sincere about it, and so am I.

And what we're going to try to do is figure out what we can agree constitutes infrastructure from each of our perspectives and then see whether or not we're in a position that—how much we want to fund it above the baseline, the baseline, meaning what we spent last year. And then, we'll talk about how to proceed from there.

But I assure you—I know, Senator Capito, this is in good faith——

Senator Shelley Moore Capito. Yes.

The President. It's a genuine effort. I think we can get there. And I'm hoping that—just in case, I brought along two of the Secretaries—[laughter]—who are smarter than I am so they can answer the really tough questions.

But all kidding aside, I'm looking forward to this meeting.

And I want to thank you all for coming in, and we appreciate you being here. So thank you for being here.

Infrastructure and Jobs Legislation

Q. Mr. President, are you open to a deal that isn't fully paid for?

The President. I'm going to get a chance to talk to you later.

Bipartisanship

Q. Sir, will you be making a new scaled-down offer to the GOP today?

The President. I'm prepared to compromise. [Laughter]

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:41 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Secretary of Transportation Peter P.M. Buttigieg; and Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. Also participating in the meeting were Vice President Kamala D. Harris; and Sens. John A. Barrasso III, Roy D. Blunt, Michael D. Crapo, Patrick J. Toomey, and Roger F. Wicker.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to Meeting With Republican Senators on Infrastructure and Jobs Legislation and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/349943

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