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Biden economic adviser frames infrastructure plan as necessary investment

Biden economic adviser frames infrastructure plan as necessary investment
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The chair of President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE's Council of Economic Advisers, Cecilia RouseCecilia RouseChamber calls on states to scrap 0 boost to jobless benefits Republicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan Sunday shows - Biden economic agenda dominates MORE, defended the administration's planned $2 trillion infrastructure package as a necessary investment for growth amid a historic recession.

During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Rouse pushed back against criticism from GOP lawmakers, who have argued that the spending is too much for a package that they say does not focus only on infrastructure.

Speaking with host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' House Republican: Cheney has 'failed' GOP conference Facebook oversight board member on Capitol rioters: Trump was 'egging them on' MORE, Rouse called on viewers to remind themselves "that we are still 7 or 8 million jobs down from last year," and that the pandemic was still forcing many to remain at home due to a lack of childcare or other issues.

“In the last 40 years, we’ve been disinvesting in our economy," Rouse added, while arguing that the Democrats' infrastructure plan invested in the "foundations of growth" for the U.S. economy, including education spending.

Wallace pushed back, questioning why such massive federal investment was needed given that the U.S. jobless rate continues to fall.

"With things going so well, why not trust the private sector?" Wallace asked.

Rouse answered that the administration was trusting both public and private investment: "This is not "either or,' this is 'both and.'"

"The strategy here is to really create a partnership between the public sector and the private sector," she contended.

Wallace also questioned her about claims from Republicans that raising the corporate tax rate, after a 2017 law passed by Republicans lowered it, would harm U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and drive jobs to other countries where the rate is lower.

"How can you say this will not hurt U.S. competitiveness or drive businesses overseas?” asked Wallace.

"Of course we don’t want to hamper U.S. competitiveness, to the contrary," Rouse said, explaining that the tax rate proposed by the Biden administration was still lower than the rate the U.S. saw before the Trump administration's 2017 tax cuts.

‘We don’t want to hamper U.S. corporations but we want them to pay their fair share as well," she said.

Rouse's defense of the Democratic plan comes as the president is pushing for movement on the bill before Memorial Day, a sign the White House is eager to see a second major legislative victory early in Biden's presidency that could boost Democratic hopes for the midterm elections.

Ten GOP senators have formed their own group focused on infrastructure reform as well in the hopes of reaching a compromise with the White House on a smaller bill.