Thune: 'There are Republicans who would vote' for smaller infrastructure package

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneCheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Trump muddles Republican messaging on Afghanistan The Memo: Trump's critics face wrath of GOP base MORE (R-S.D.) predicted on Sunday that some Republicans could get behind a smaller infrastructure package but noted that President BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE's $2 trillion plan was largely unrelated to infrastructure.

During an interview with Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceRepublicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan GOP senator: Two sides 'far apart' on infrastructure compromise Biden economic adviser frames infrastructure plan as necessary investment MORE on "Fox News Sunday," the senator suggested that just "6 percent" of the legislation unveiled by the president at a speech in Pittsburgh was related to infrastructure, adding that the rest amounted to a "big, bold, European-style socialism proposal."

"If they are sincere about doing something on infrastructure, I think there are Republicans who would vote for it," Thune said.

But "the plan that you heard [Transportation] Secretary [Pete] Buttigieg talk about is a massive expansion of government," Thune added, referring to Buttigieg's interview on the show in support of the plan moments earlier.

Thune went on to criticize the Biden administration's plan to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent as a means of funding the plan, which Thune argued would have a crushing effect on the economy. He did not offer an alternative means of funding a smaller package.

"I think the tax increases that are included here would be very crushing for the economy," he said.

"It doesn’t make sense after we just reformed our tax code in 2017 ... to then raise taxes to make the United States the highest-taxed place in the world," Thune continued.

His criticisms echoed those of other Republicans, who have argued that the Biden administration is shoehorning social safety net expansions and climate change proposals into infrastructure legislation, which has broad bipartisan support among the voting population.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntBiden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push Republicans embrace Trump in effort to reclaim Senate GOP attorneys general group in turmoil after Jan. 6 Trump rally MORE (R-Mo.) also criticized the bill last week on "Fox News Sunday," claiming at the time that roughly 30 percent of the legislation amounted to addressing physical infrastructure needs.

"Obviously, Democrats have figured out that infrastructure is something we need, something that’s popular" and are pushing other proposals into the bill as a result, Blunt said.