Yellen: ‘Safest’ thing to do is make sure infrastructure plan is paid for
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during an interview Sunday said it would be “safest” to include the means for President Biden’s infrastructure plan to fund itself while declining to answer whether President Biden would sign the plan without it.
Yellen told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd on NBC that she and the president believe “permanent” spending increases should be accompanied by revenue increases that fully meet their financial costs.
“Well, I’m not going to speak for what the president will do in a negotiation, but he has made clear that he believes permanent increases in spending should be paid for, and I agree,” Yellen said.
“Over the long run, deficits needs to be contained,” Yellen continued, adding: “I believe we should pay for these historic investments.”
“I think it’s true that a stronger economy will generate more tax revenues, but I think the safest thing is to pay for them, and we’re doing it in a way that’s fair.”
EXCLUSIVE: @SecYellen addresses the Biden admin’s proposed infrastructure plans, says we “need fiscal space to be able to address emergencies like … the pandemic.”
“Over the long run, deficits needs to be contained. … I believe we should pay for these historic investments.” pic.twitter.com/mX1AIwCrav
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 2, 2021
Her comments come amid a debate among Democrats over how the Biden administration should pay for the $2 trillion infrastructure plan proposed by the White House. Currently, the plan calls for raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent and raising some taxes on Americans making above $400,000 a year.
Some Republicans and centrist Democrats including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have signaled opposition to raising the corporate tax rate, raising the possibility that the bill will not have enough votes to pass the evenly divided Senate should an agreement on funding it not be struck.
Democrats have expressed hopefulness that a compromise with Republicans can be found while maintaining that the legislation could be passed through budget reconciliation measures, which would require 51 votes and allow Democrats to ignore unified GOP opposition should they suffer no defections in their own caucus.