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

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) predicted on Sunday that some Republicans could get behind a smaller infrastructure package but noted that President Biden’s $2 trillion plan was largely unrelated to infrastructure.

During an interview with Chris Wallace 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 Blunt (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.

Tags Chris Wallace Infrastructure Joe Biden John Thune Pete Buttigieg Roy Blunt

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