Biden officials open to debate over funding for $ 2 billion infrastructure plan

Senior officials in Biden’s administration said they saw room for a deal on Society taxes to pay for the president’s $ 2 billion infrastructure plan, as they pushed Congress to move the package forward by the end of next month.

“I think we’re going to find a very good negotiating space on this,” Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg told ABC on Sunday.

“We know this goes into a legislative process where we’re going to hear from both sides of the aisle, and I think you’ll find the president to be very open-minded.

Last week, during a visit to Pittsburgh, Joe Biden unveiled his next multibillion-dollar economic proposal after securing passage of his $ 1.9 billion fiscal stimulus package last month.

The investment plan proposed by the White House would devote more than $ 2 billion in government funding to traditional infrastructure such as roads and bridges. But it also includes large manufacturing subsidies and seeks to tackle climate change with plans to modernize homes and other buildings and make it easier to use electric vehicles.

However, its most politically controversial element is that it is funded by an increase in corporate taxes from 21% to 28% and by changes in international tax provisions that make it easier for multinationals to reduce their taxes. tax charges.

Republicans immediately vowed to oppose the plan, and some Democrats, especially from the moderate wing of the party, may consider watering down the corporate tax proposal in the coming weeks. The Biden administration promises to be flexible on the details.

“If people think it’s too aggressive, then we’d like to know what their plans are. It’s something we want to have a conversation about, ”White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese told Fox News on Sunday.

“But it is a responsible way of paying for a large capital investment which itself will yield multiples in terms of private investment that it will unlock.”

While the negotiations on Capitol Hill over the infrastructure plan are expected to be more complicated and lengthy than they were for the recently passed stimulus package, Democrats and the White House are counting on the popularity of infrastructure investments. to create political momentum for the plan.

Joe biden

Joe Biden has pledged to push forward the additional spending with or without Republican backing © Evan Vucci / AP

While Biden has vowed to speak with Republicans on the package, he suggested he was prepared to pass it with Democratic votes alone, despite small majorities in both houses of Congress.

President expects major progress from Congress ahead of Memorial Day [at the end of May]. And we can’t allow this thing to go on forever, because the need is there today, ”Buttigieg said.

Republicans urge White House to drop corporate tax increase, which would reduce part of Donald Trump’s tax cuts that they supported. They also want to restrict the scope of the plan to physical infrastructure, financed through public-private partnerships and user fees.

“It would be an easy victory if we went back and looked at roads, bridges, ports and airports and maybe even underground water systems and broadband. You’re still talking about less than 30 percent of this whole package and that’s an easily doable 30 percent, ”Roy Blunt, the Republican senator from Missouri, told Fox News Sunday.

Even as the White House tries to persuade Congress to pass its infrastructure plan, its senior officials have said they plan this month to present another big federal investment package, which may be worth more than $ 1 billion, focused on education and child care – and funded by tax increases on the rich.

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