Battle lines drawn on Biden's infrastructure plan

Battle lines drawn on Biden's infrastructure plan
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Republican lawmakers and White House officials on Sunday came out swinging over President BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report 21 House Democrats call for removing IRS bank reporting proposal from spending bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Vulnerable House Dems push drug pricing plan MORE's proposed $2.25 trillion plan to rebuild America's infrastructure, with GOP senators using their appearances on the morning political shows to take aim at the size of the plan and its proposed corporate tax hikes and Democrats defending the legislation as a way to generate sustained job growth.

Biden unveiled the plan, which he called a "once-in-a-generation investment in America," on Wednesday with a speech in Pittsburgh. He said the legislation would provide billions to rebuild roads, bridges, tunnels and other structures while also providing billions for efforts to transition the U.S. away from the use of fossil fuels, both in the country's power grid and on roadways, where the plan provides funds for encouraging electric vehicle use.

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Secretary of Transportation Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Democrats inch closer to legislative deal Republican spin on Biden is off the mark Unanswered questions remain for Buttigieg, Biden on supply chain catastrophe MORE said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the proposal would be fully funded by a hike to the corporate tax rate and added that it would begin cutting into the deficit after 15 years.

"Now is our chance to make infrastructure choices for the future that are going to serve us well in the 2030s and on into the middle of the century, when we will be judged for whether we met this moment here in the 2020s," Buttigieg said on "Meet the Press."

"Across 15 years, it would raise all of the revenue needed for these once-in-a-lifetime investments. So by year 16, you'd actually see this package working to reduce the deficit," Buttigieg added.

On "Fox News Sunday," National Economic Council Director Brian DeeseBrian DeeseWhite House still thinks spending deal could be made before Europe trip Black Caucus pushes for priorities in final deal White House to host lawmakers as negotiations over agenda hit critical stage MORE defended the plan to host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceCDC director urges Americans to go outside, 'enjoy your trick-or-treating' Rep. Khanna expresses frustration about Sinema CDC director: 'We can't be complacent' amid drop in COVID-19 cases MORE, answering questions from Wallace about whether more federal spending is needed by saying the program would generate sustained job growth across the U.S.

"We think we can not only have a strong job rebound this year, but we can sustain it over many years. That’s the goal," Deese said. "Let's also think to the longer term about where those investments that we can make that will really drive not just more job growth but better job growth, not just job growth in the short term but job growth in the long term by investing in our infrastructure, by investing in our research and development in a way that we haven't since the 1960s."

Republicans touted their party's unified opposition to the bill in appearances on NBC, ABC and Fox, with Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSunday shows - Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight GOP senator: Best thing Trump could do to help Republicans in 2022 is talk about future It's time to make access to quality kidney care accessible and equitable for all MORE (R-Mo.) calling on Biden in twin appearances on "This Week" and "Fox News Sunday" to embrace a much smaller package.

"I think there's an easy win here for the White House if they would take that win, which is make this an infrastructure package, which is about 30 percent [of what their proposal entails]," Blunt said on Fox.

"My advice to the White House has been take that bipartisan win, do this in a more traditional infrastructure way, and then if you want to force the rest of the package on Republicans in the Congress and the country, you can certainly do that," he added.

Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerLawmakers split on next steps to secure transportation sectors against hackers Infrastructure bill carves out boosts to first responders, wildland firefighters Pennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress MORE (R-Miss.) took offense to the administration's method of funding the proposal: a hike on the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, a move that he said represented "a repeal of one of our signature issues in 2017," referring to the GOP tax reform plan that passed that year.

"I think it's a big mistake for the administration. They know I think it's a mistake, and I also think it would be an easy victory if we go back and look at roads and bridges and ports and airports and maybe even underground water systems and broadband," said Wicker.

It's unclear whether Democrats will seek Republican support to pass the bill. Some Democrats have held out hope for winning GOP support for the legislation, while others, including Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPatience wears thin as Democrats miss deadlines Crucial talks on Biden agenda enter homestretch It's time to make access to quality kidney care accessible and equitable for all MORE (Md.), have indicated that Democrats could seek to pass the legislation through budget reconciliation should Republicans signal a refusal to negotiate in good faith on the issue.

The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package was passed into law last month through the budget reconciliation process, which requires 50 votes in the Senate and allowed Democrats to completely bypass Republicans.