Biden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure
President Biden and Vice President Harris are set to meet with a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Monday about the president’s sweeping infrastructure proposal.
Biden and Harris will meet with Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), in addition to Reps. Garret Graves (R-La.), Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), David Price (D-N.C.) and Don Young (R-Alaska).
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday that Biden would have an “open mind” toward changes to the size and funding of his $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan, but he added that the president would not accept inaction.
The president’s efforts to secure bipartisan support for the package got off to a rocky start last week, and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a close Biden ally, said that there will be just one month set aside to hammer out a deal with Republican lawmakers.
The president’s plan, which has been branded as “The American Jobs Plan,” includes funding for fixing bridges, highways and roads, in addition to a swath of investments ranging from broadband access to replacing lead pipes to child care centers and more.
Republicans have argued that the plan is too expensive and includes too many provisions that are not infrastructure.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) panned the package last week, calling it a “major missed opportunity” and “the latest liberal wish-list.”
But in the Senate, Democrats are expected to use budgetary rules to pass the package, even with no Republican support. The proposal can avoid a filibuster in the upper chamber using budget reconciliation rules.
The administration is proposing to help pay for the package by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent, which was set by the 2017 GOP tax plan.
Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has said that Biden’s proposal needs changes and that raising the corporate tax rate goes too far. Manchin on Wednesday said in an interview that “there’s six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive, and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind.”
The White House would need every Democratic senator to vote for the package in the upper chamber, with Harris breaking a tie if no Republicans offer support.
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