President Joe Biden on Wednesday expressed optimism about an infrastructure package, as Senate Republicans said they had reached a deal in talks with Democrats.
“I feel confident about it,” Biden said during a tour of a Mack truck plant in Macungie, Pa.
Lead negotiator Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said an agreement had been struck on “the major issues.” A test vote is possible later Wednesday.
Biden was visiting the factory to tout U.S. manufacturing, and during his speech pledged to keep up his involvement on a plan to build roads, bridges and other public works.
“I’m working with Democrats and Republicans to get this done,” the president said, “because while there’s a lot we don’t agree on, I believe we should be able to work together on the few things we do agree on.”
Biden in his speech discussed a new proposal to boost U.S. content in federal procurement policy. The administration is proposing that products bought under the “Buy American” program have at least 60% of the value of components made in the U.S., up from the current 55%. It would later rise to 75%.
“Fifty-five percent is not high enough,” Biden said.
is one of Biden’s top priorities, and a bipartisan group of senators has been working on a framework for new federal spending of about $600 billion on roads, bridges, transit, broadband, water systems and other public works projects.
The deal would require 60 votes in the evenly split 50-50 Senate to proceed to consideration, meaning support from both parties. That would launch a potentially long process to consider the bill, and any possible amendments.
were mixed on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve said it would keep interest rates steady near zero and retain its full range of tools to support the economic recovery during the pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.