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OnPolitics: Are infrastructure talks dead? Maybe not.

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6/10/2021 Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY
Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Mitt Romney, R-Utah,, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., take a break from a meeting on infrastructure for going to a vote at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. © Alex Wong, Getty Images Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Mitt Romney, R-Utah,, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., take a break from a meeting on infrastructure for going to a vote at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden cut off negotiations for a bipartisan deal on infrastructure with a group of six Senate Republicans. Does that mean the deal is dead? Not necessarily.

Plus:

  • House Democrats are once again taking aim at Rep. Ilhan Omar's comments on Israel
  • And in news environmentalists will love, the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is canceled

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It's Mabinty, with the news of the day.

Infrastructure: 'Multiple paths forward'

Biden's administration isn't giving up on a bipartisan infrastructure deal after talks with Republican senators collapsed. Today, they expressed openness to a strategy from Senate Democrats to pass certain components of the measure without GOP support.

The White House claimed it still has "multiple paths forward" for getting an infrastructure bill passed, including:

  • Using a special legislative maneuver that doesn't require Republican backing
  • Building on a separate House Democratic proposal
  • Negotiating with a bipartisan group of senators who have been meeting for weeks on a compromise

Biden opened talks with the group of around 20 senators, include Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Bill Cassidy, R-La., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. 

If Biden doesn't reach an agreement, Democrats could choose to push through an infrastructure package using budget reconciliation, a legislative maneuver subject to certain rules that would allow the bill to pass with only a simple majority in the evenly divided Senate.

In essence, it would allow Democrats, who control the chamber by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris' ability to break ties, to pass a proposal without any Republican support.

News you should be reading: 

Rep. Ilhan Omar v. fellow House Democrats

A group of House lawmakers is criticizing Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for comparing the human rights records of the United States and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban — a rare public rebuke against a fellow Democrat.

"Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided," Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider and 11 other Democrats wrote in a joint statement issued late Wednesday.

The group was reacting to a tweet Omar posted Monday. "We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity," she tweeted. "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban."

How's Omar responding? In an early Thursday tweet responding to her colleagues, Omar called it "shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for 'clarification' and not just call."

Hope you have a restful weekend. —Mabinty 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: OnPolitics: Are infrastructure talks dead? Maybe not.

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