Sinema to meet with Biden as infrastructure negotiations continue


WASHINGTON — Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, the top Democratic negotiator on the bipartisan infrastructure deal, is scheduled to visit the White House on Tuesday to meet with President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the plan said.

The two intend to discuss infrastructure talks “and their shared optimism that progress has been made and a final deal is within reach,” said the source, who was granted anonymity to discuss details about a private meeting.

The meeting comes as senators struggle to finalize the agreement, stuck over disputes involving money for highways and public transit, labor provisions regarding the construction of projects, broadband policy and some other matters.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she expects the group to eventually reach a deal.

“Ultimately, yes,” she told NBC News on Monday. “But it’s painful.”

Also Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans will hold their weekly caucus meetings, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., threatening to keep the chamber working during the weekend and potentially cut parts of the monthlong August recess if a deal isn’t done soon.

“We are making good progress on both tracks: the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the budget resolution with reconciliation instructions,” Schumer said Tuesday, referring to the separate $3.5 trillion proposal that Democrats want to advance without Republicans. “And to reiterate, senators should prepare to work through the weekend in order to finish the bipartisan infrastructure bill.”

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