Buttigieg says Biden wants Congress to act on infrastructure before Memorial Day

Buttigieg says Biden wants Congress to act on infrastructure before Memorial Day
© Getty Images

Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegWhite House says gas tax won't be part of infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations Senate Republicans label Biden infrastructure plan a 'slush fund' MORE said Sunday that President BidenJoe BidenHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Democrats to offer bill to expand Supreme Court Former Israeli prime minister advises Iran to 'cool down' amid nuclear threats MORE wants Congress to act on his massive infrastructure package by Memorial Day.

Buttgieg told ABC "This Week" host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosBiden was right to call Putin a 'killer' — but is he doing enough to save Alexei Navalny? Senate Republican targets infrastructure package's effect on small business job creators Energy secretary: 'We don't want to use past definitions of infrastructure' MORE that he's been in talks with congressional Republicans and Democrats on infrastructure and that he expects to get some support even from GOP members on Biden's more than $2 trillion plan.

But when asked about possible opposition by some House Democrats unless federal income tax deductions for state and local taxes are reinstated, Buttigieg said Biden has an "open mind" when it comes to the proposal.

We know that this is entering a legislative process where we’re going to be hearing from both sides of the aisle, and I think you’ll find the president’s got a very open mind. But time is of the essence," Buttgieg said. 

“So we’ll look at these ideas on how to pay for it. We’ll look at ideas on where the investments ought to be, too. But the president is hoping for major progress from Congress before Memorial Day. And we can’t allow this thing to just keep dragging on, because the need is there today.” 

When asked if it was realistic to expect some Republican support on infrastructure when there wasn't any GOP votes on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief measure, Buttigieg said infrastructure was a topic many lawmakers wanted to act on.

"I think it can be. I'm having a lot of conversations with Republicans in the House and Senate who have been wanting to do something big on infrastructure for years. We may not agree about every piece of it, but this is one area where the American people absolutely want to see us get it done, where members on both sides of the aisle have been talking about getting it done for a long time," Buttigieg said.