Biden to hold second meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure
President Biden is scheduled to meet Monday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, all of whom are former governors or mayors, to discuss his $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal.
The group, which is made up of five Democrats, four Republicans and one Independent, comprises Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.); and Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.), Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.).
Hoeven, King, Romney, Shaheen and Crist all previously served as a governor, and Cleaver, Giménez, Granger and Torres are all former mayors.
Hickenlooper previously served as governor of Colorado and mayor of Denver.
“These former state and local elected officials understand firsthand the impact of a federal investment in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure on their communities,” the White House said Sunday evening.
Monday will be the second time a bipartisan group of lawmakers meet with Biden to discuss infrastructure. Last week, he met with eight members of Congress in the Oval Office for nearly two hours.
Biden last month unveiled his $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal, branded the American Jobs Plan, which he said will boost America’s competitive edge on the world stage and create well-paying, middle-class jobs.
The proposal calls for repairs to 20,000 miles of roads and 10,000 bridges, expanding broadband access to rural and underserved communities, replacing all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines to ensure clean water, investing in research and development and manufacturing, and expanding access to home and community-based care.
The money allocated would be spent over eight years. To pay for the package, Biden is proposing increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, which according to the White House will pay for the investments over a 15-year period.
The plan, however, has received mixed reviews on Capitol Hill. The proposal includes a number of family care provisions and other tenets outside of conventional infrastructure measures, in addition to large corporate tax increases, which Republicans have expressed opposition to. Members on the right are also concerned with the size of the package.
Members of the Democratic caucus, meanwhile, are at odds, with liberals urging Biden to go bigger, while moderates are more cautious about the corporate tax increase and the political blowback that it might trigger.
As a result, Democrats are considering separating the massive package into two smaller ones, with one focused on conventional infrastructure projects, which party leaders think will have a better chance of passing with bipartisan support, and the other focused on family care provisions and other miscellaneous tenets which have received pushback from Republicans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she wants to pass both pieces of legislation by Congress’s August recess.
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