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Biden says he's open to compromise on corporate tax rate

President BidenJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE said Wednesday that he is open to compromise on his proposal to raise the corporate tax rate, but said he would not back an infrastructure bill that is not paid for because of concerns about the deficit.

Biden was asked following remarks at the White House on Wednesday if he was open to an increase of the corporate tax rate to 25 percent instead of his proposed 28 percent. 

“I’m willing to compromise but I’m not willing to not pay for what we’re talking about,” Biden told reporters. “I’m not willing to deficit spend. They already have us $2 trillion in the whole.”

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Biden’s proposal has been criticized by Republicans and at least one Democrat, Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSinema defends filibuster ahead of Senate voting rights showdown The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin MORE (W.Va.), who said he believes a 28 percent corporate tax rate is too high. The rate is currently 21 percent.

Biden proposed the tax increase in order to pay for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure and climate plan. He said he is planning to meet with Republican lawmakers next week on infrastructure, describing himself as serious about negotiations with lawmakers from the opposing party.

A group of Republicans, led by Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Senate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office MORE (W.Va.), unveiled an infrastructure proposal about a third of the size of Biden’s focusing on repairs to traditional infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

Biden has also proposed raising taxes on wealthy Americans to pay for his $1.8 trillion families plan, which would provide universal prekindergarten and tuition-free community college as well as tax credits to low- and middle-income families.

Business groups, however, are preparing to make the case against the proposed tax increases, focusing attention on moderate Democrats.

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Biden defended his proposals Wednesday, arguing they would spur economic growth and help working families without changing the lifestyle of those at the top. 

“We’re not going to deprive any of these executives of their second or third home, travel privately by jet. It’s not going to affect their standard of living at all, not a little tiny bit,” Biden said, his voice rising. “But I can affect the standard of living of the people that I grew up with, if they have a job.”

“I’m going to have to be able to explain this and I’m going to keep banging on it,” Biden continued. “This is about making the average multimillionaire pay just a fair share. It’s not going to affect their standard of living a little bit.”