Biden to host bipartisan talks on infrastructure next week
President Biden next week will host congressional lawmakers from both parties at the White House as he seeks to rally support for his proposed infrastructure package.
Biden on Monday will meet with Democrats and Republicans to discuss the American Jobs Plan, a roughly $2.3 trillion proposal to invest in the nation’s infrastructure through roads, bridges, climate-friendly industries and workers in the care economy.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not provide a list of attendees during Friday’s press briefing but said it would include members of both chambers of Congress.
“Our focus has long been working with Democrats and Republicans. That is the president’s objective,” Psaki said. “And obviously the close margins [in Congress] make that a necessity. So when he is inviting members here, he’s inviting not just one wing of a party, not just one wing even of his own party, he wants to have the discussion about how we can work together to address our nation’s outdated infrastructure and rebuilding our workforce for the future.”
Biden last month unveiled a package that would cost $2.25 trillion over an eight-year period. The proposal is broken up into four main parts: transportation infrastructure, modern infrastructure like broadband and upgrading buildings, investing in the care economy to aid health care workers and funding innovation and research and development of future technologies.
The White House has proposed paying for the bill through a hike in the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.
Congress has been on recess since Biden announced the plan, and Monday will be the first time he will meet with lawmakers in person to discuss the proposal. The president and his aides have been adamant they are open to hearing ideas from members of Congress on possible changes to the package or how it is paid for.
Republicans have balked at raising the corporate tax rate, and Biden angered moderate GOP senators when he said this week they did not budge “an inch” in talks on an economic relief bill earlier this year.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has also raised some concerns with the proposal and expressed reluctance to proceeding through budget reconciliation right away, which would allow Democrats to bypass the filibuster.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he planned to speak with Manchin in the coming days. It’s unclear if Manchin will be at the White House meeting on Monday.