(Bloomberg) – Republicans could be willing to support limited infrastructure spending in President Joe Biden’s spending proposal, which would require a $ 2.25 trillion plan cut by more than two-thirds, a senior GOP senator said.
With Biden’s “American Business Plan” at the table in less than a week, administration officials and Republicans in the Senate went out on Sunday news broadcasts to express opposing views. As Biden faces calls from parts of the Democratic Party to go to the councils, Republicans are directing their opposition to raising the corporate rate, which they say will stop job creation.
Brian Deese, a key adviser leading Biden’s National Economic Council, said the plan is a “one-time, eight-year capital investment” that deals with classic infrastructure projects such as repairing bridges, and includes investments aimed at promoting long-term job growth.
“It will expand the potential of our economy,” Deese told Fox News Sunday, adding that “we have a long way to go” to bring U.S. employment back to pre-pandemic levels in the short term.
Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, said he could anticipate bipartisan support in improving facilities such as roads and airports, and perhaps water systems, and expanding broadband access – if the administration bucks the package to about $ 615 million.
The meaning of infrastructure
“You’d still be talking about less than 30% of this whole package, and it seems like it’s an easily doable 30%,” he said on Fox. “When people think about infrastructure, they think about roads, bridges, ports and airports.”
The very meaning of “infrastructure” needs a 21st century transformation, said Cecilia Rouse, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
“It’s important to upgrade our definition of infrastructure, which meets the needs of the 21st century economy, and that means we need to fund and encourage those structures that allow us to maximize our economic activity,” Rouse said on the show “Face of the Nation.”
Republicans have shown Biden’s offer to cover the cost of the package by increasing the income tax from 21% to 28%, which is a reversal of former President Donald Trump’s tax cut in 2017, as a driver that would kill jobs.
“Just to tell you, it will reduce job creation in.” United States America, “Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker said on NBC’s” Meet the Press. ” The tax cut for 2017 was a “successful plan,” he said.
‘Huge tax increase’
“I’m all looking for ways to pay for it,” without an income tax increase, Wicker said.
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said Thursday in his home state of Kentucky that his party would not support Biden’s plan as it is now written, “as much as we would like to address infrastructure.”
“The last thing the economy needs right now is a big, huge tax increase,” McConnell told reporters.
Biden’s plan faces a difficult path in Congress because Republicans have already said they will not vote for a measure paid for by the tax increase. Some progressives say Biden’s plan is not big enough. Other congressional Democrats, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, said he likes Biden’s direction, but plans to publish his own international tax proposal to fund the infrastructure proposal.
Deese said the administration is willing to have a “conversation” about the plan. He declined to speculate on the extent to which Biden might be willing to change his plan.
On Wednesday, Biden unveiled an infrastructure-focused economic plan aimed at upgrading state roads, bridges, ports and water systems, as well as pumping money into semiconductor production, renewable energy and research and development.
The plan also directs funding to other long-standing democratic priorities, including electric vehicles, broadband internet and workforce development. Biden said these investments are crucial for the country as it emerges from a pandemic and faces challenges related to climate change and the global economy.
“We are determined to make sure Infrastructure Week is no longer a focal point around Washington,” Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg said on ABC’s “This Week.” “That will make this a robust plan.”
An eight-year proposal followsto the $ 1.9 trillion economic relief bill was passed in March with only democratic votes. A minimum income tax is being sought that U.S. corporations earn abroad, increasing the rate to 21% from approximately 13%. The plan includes several other corporate increases, including multiple IRS audits for companies.
The White House says it plans a second proposal in the coming weeks to address so-called social infrastructure, including childcare, health care and schooling. That plan will be paid for by raising taxes on rich households and could cost more than $ 1 trillion.
“Now is the time to start working on our physical and human infrastructure. I want that to happen as soon as possible, “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told CNN’s State of Union.
Competitive pressures mean Biden’s proposal is likely to have to be split into two or even three laws. Some parts will need Republican support to get through the Senate, while other provisions may be put in fast budget accounts that only need Democratic votes.