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U.S. Senator Mitt Romney departs after bipartisan work group meeting

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, on Tuesday broke off talks on an infrastructure bill with a key Republican, instead reaching out to a bipartisan group, after one-on-one talks with Republican Senator Shelley Capito were described as hitting a “brick wall.”

Biden changed course after Capito, the leader of a group of six Senate Republicans handling the negotiations, offered $330 billion in new spending on infrastructure, far short of Biden’s reduced $1.7 trillion offer.

A bipartisan group of senators also met on Tuesday to discuss the next steps on infrastructure. Republicans including Romney, Bill Cassidy and Rob Portman, and Democrats, including key swing votes Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, were among those who attended.

Portman said the bipartisan group will meet again on Wednesday and will be presenting to other members.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Chizu Nomiyama)

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