US President Joe Biden would be willing to push his $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan without the support of Republican lawmakers if he cannot reach a bipartisan agreement, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Sunday.
The opposition demands that spending be reduced to a third
Granholm said Biden would prefer that his plan be backed by Republicans but that if that doesn’t work, he would likely support using a procedural strategy called reconciliation to allow Democrats to pass it in the Senate.
Since taking office in January, the Democratic president has repeatedly said he wants to work with Republicans, but it seems unlikely that the infrastructure plan – his second major legislative initiative – will garner more bipartisan support than the first, an aid package by the $ 1.9 trillion Covid that was approved only with Democratic support last month, using the aforementioned reconciliation.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said last week that Biden’s infrastructure plan was “bold and daring,” but that it would increase taxes and debt.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt urged the administration to cut it down and focus on the basics.
“If we went back and looked at roads, bridges, ports and airports, and even groundwater systems and broadband, we would still be talking about less than 30% of this whole package,” Blunt said at the Fox program.
Blunt said he believed a less ambitious goal of about $ 615 billion would be more palatable to some of his Republican colleagues and would get Biden the bipartisan deal he has said he wants.
Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi joined others in his party in trying to present Biden’s plan as a tax hike rather than an effort to repair and rebuild the nation’s transportation, communications, water and electricity networks. .
“What the president has proposed this week is not an infrastructure bill. It’s a huge tax hike,” Wicker said on NBC’s Meet the Press program.
Biden’s plan would raise the corporate tax rate after deductions to 28% from 21% today. His predecessor to the presidency, Donald Trump, and Republican lawmakers cut the corporate rate from 35% to 21% in 2017.
Trump repeatedly promised to address the country’s poor infrastructure during his presidency, but never delivered.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg added that the initiatives will serve the country into the 2030s and beyond. “Right now, we continue to enjoy infrastructure decisions that were made in the 1950s.”
His top economic adviser, Brian Deese, said Sunday that the plan contains investments that will foster short-term and long-term job growth, including funding childcare to get more Americans back to work.
Biden’s project to revitalize infrastructure is designed to create more jobs and keep the economy going as the country emerges from the pandemic, Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said in an interview with Fox News Sunday.
“But let’s also think long-term, about the investments that we can make that really drive, not just higher job growth, but better, not just short-term growth, but long-term, investing in our infrastructures, investing in our research and development, in a way we haven’t done since the 1960s, “he said.