Pro-tax millionaires call for rejection of infrastructure package without spending plan

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) addresses reporters regarding legislation on antitrust and internet companies on June 16
Greg Nash

A group of pro-tax millionaires is calling on progressives to reject the bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last month unless the multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package that is still being negotiated on Capitol Hill is approved as well.

The group, dubbed Patriotic Millionaires, penned a letter to Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and the rest of the caucus on Wednesday, urging the lawmakers to block the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill unless it is “directly coupled” with the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

“We are writing to urge members of the Progressive Caucus to continue to stand strong, to stand together, and to refuse to vote for the bi-partisan infrastructure bill unless it is directly coupled with the full $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill,” Morris Pearl, the chairman of the group, and Erica Payne, the founder and president of the group, wrote in the letter.

The group’s leaders said the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which the Senate passed in a 69-30 vote last month, “doesn’t deserve to pass” on its own. They specifically pointed to “inadequate” investments and “almost embarrassing” pay-fors.

“No, selling off our strategic oil reserves is not better than taxing billionaires. The bipartisan bill is, quite simply, a bad bill. And the only possible justification for voting for a bad bill is the commitment that a good bill will result,” the letter reads.

The group’s push comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are negotiating the multitrillion-dollar spending package, which Democrats are looking to pass through reconciliation to prevent a potential Republican filibuster. Using reconciliation would require a simple majority vote for passage.

A group of moderates in the Democratic Party, however, is threatening to tank the reconciliation package if the bipartisan infrastructure bill is not passed. Some members — namely Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — are taking issue with the package’s price tag, arguing that it is too high. 

Patriotic Millionaires, however, rejects that criticism, contending that the objection to the reconciliation package is a cover for not wanting to raise taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations.

“They have not even articulated a single coherent criticism of the package. Their performative objections to the bill’s size and timeline of its passage are nothing more than a smokescreen for the fact that they do not want to raise taxes on millionaires, billionaires, and corporations,” the group wrote.

As a matter of national policy, the United States does not negotiate with terrorists. It’s time for the Congressional Progressive Caucus to extend that principle to the legislative process,” it added.

Tags Infrastructure Joe Manchin Patriotic Millionaires Pay fors Pramila Jayapal Senate spending plan

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