US President Joe Baden is ready to push ahead with his $2 trillion infrastructure plan without the support of Republican lawmakers if a bipartisan agreement cannot be reached. This was announced on Sunday by Energy Minister Jennifer Granholm.
According to Granholm, Biden would prefer that his plan get the support of Republicans. Still, if this does not work out, he will probably support applying a procedural strategy called “reconciliation” so that it can pass in the Senate.
“As he said, he took the presidency to do a job for America. And if the vast majority of Americans, Democrats, and Republicans, support spending on our country and do not allow us to lose in the global race, then he will go for it,” Granholm said on CNN.
Most Americans now support the Democratic president’s plan, said Granholm, one of several senior Biden administration officials who promoted the initiative on television news programs Sunday.
Since taking office in January, the Democratic president has repeatedly said he would like to work with Republicans.
But so far, it appears that the infrastructure plan, his second major legislative initiative, is unlikely to get more support than the first-a $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package that was passed in March with only Democratic votes using a reconciliation process.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the other day that Biden’s infrastructure plan is “bold and ambitious” but will lead to higher taxes and more debt. He promised to fight it “at every stage.”
Republican Senator Roy Blunt on Sunday called on Biden to significantly scale back the plan if he wants to win the support of Republican lawmakers.
“If you go back and look at roads and bridges, ports and airports, maybe even underground water systems and broadband, it would still be less than 30 percent of the whole package,” Blunt said, speaking on a Sunday program on Fox News.
A more modest goal, about $ 615 billion, would be more palatable to some of his fellow Republicans, Blunt said.
Republican Senator Roger Wicker, like some of his fellow party members, tried to present the plan as a tax increase rather than an effort to repair and restore the country’s transportation, communications, water, and electricity networks.
“What the president proposed this week is not an infrastructure bill. This is a huge tax increase,” Wicker said.
Biden’s plan calls for raising the corporate income tax rate after deductions from 21 percent to 28 percent. His predecessor as president, Donald Trump, and Republican lawmakers cut the rate from 35 percent to 21 percent in 2017.
Trump has repeatedly promised to address the problem of crumbling infrastructure but has not fulfilled this promise. The investment in the Biden infrastructure plan is long-term and is essential to boost employment, said Brian Deese, director of the National Student Council, speaking on Fox News.
These initiatives will serve the country well in the 2030s, and beyond, Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg added.
“We are still using the results of the infrastructure decisions that were made in the 1950s,” Buttigieg told NBC.