Energy secretary suggests White House is open to passing infrastructure bill through reconciliation
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Sunday suggested that the White House is open to passing its $2 trillion infrastructure plan using reconciliation if no Republican lawmakers support the legislation.
When pressed by host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” if the White House would be willing to pass the infrastructure package through reconciliation, a parliamentary process that requires a simple majority to pass bills, Granholm said the president came to Washington to do a job, and “he’s going to do that.”
“As he has said, he was sent to the presidency to do a job for America, and if the vast majority of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, across the country support spending on our country and not allowing us to lose the race globally, then he’s going to do that.”
Granholm added that the administration’s preference, however, is to pass the bill on a bipartisan basis.
“His sincere preference, his open hand, is to Republicans to come to the table and say, ‘if you don’t like this how would you pay for it, if you don’t like this, what would you include,’ so much of this though includes priorities that Republicans have supported,” Granholm said.
“So I hope that Democrats and Republicans can be on a final vote yes on this bill, on this package,” Granholm added.
Tapper also noted that the bill includes funding for home care facilities for elderly Americans and those with disabilities and affordable housing. Additionally, the bill calls for more spending on electric vehicles than on roads and bridges.
When pressed by Tapper why the administration is not focusing on a bill that can attract the support of both Democrats and Republicans, Granholm said both parties have historically wanted to see infrastructure spending on broadband, water and removing lead from water systems, which the bill includes.
Granholm later added that “the need to make sure that we have an electrified transportation system to reduce climate change is highly supported and very necessary.”
Biden last Wednesday outlined his $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, branded as “The American Jobs Plan,” which is broken up into 4 parts: transportation infrastructure, modern infrastructure like broadband and upgrading buildings, investing in the care economy to help health workers, and funding innovation and the research and development of future technologies.
Biden plans to pay for the proposal by reforming the corporate tax code. According to an administration official, raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent would pay for the proposal in 15 years.
Granholm on Sunday called the tax code “not fair.”