White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s deadline of June 7 regarding infrastructure talks, telling reporters Thursday that the administration isn’t setting a deadline.
Buttigieg told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that “a clear direction” on the talks must be evident by June 7, when Congress returns. Buttigieg noted that it’s “encouraging to see the healthy conversations” but reminded Americans that Biden has promised to deliver on the plan.
Psaki flatly dismissed Buttigieg’s June 7 deadline and said Biden “will continue to have conversations with Democrats and Republicans about what the path forward may look like.”
“No,” Psaki said when asked if Biden sees Monday as the deadline for “major breakthroughs” on proposal negotiations.
Psaki noted that “it is an important moment in the timeline” because “there will be movement then,” but added that Biden has no plans to set new deadlines.
“We’ve seen Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi talk about how she wants to move forward with infrastructure in June,” the press secretary said. “We’ve seen Senator Leader [Chuck] Schumer talk about how he wants to move forward with infrastructure in July. Those are some realities in the timeline, but the president is not — we are not here to set new deadlines. We’re going to continue those conversations.”
When probed on the apparent nonexistent deadline, Psaki reiterated that the administration plans to “keep our options open to see what paths we can move forward on.”
“Certainly the president is not going to accept a deal that doesn’t help create millions of jobs and make a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” Psaki said.
The administration also addressed the much-contentious plan to pay for the infrastructure proposal by raising the corporate tax up to 28%. Psaki said that Biden has “absolutely not” abandoned this plan and said he believes “corporations can afford to pay a little more.” (RELATED: Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Is Fueled By Rolling Back Trump’s Corporate Tax Cuts — Here’s What We Know)