Washington (AP) – President Biden plans to spend $ 4 trillion on infrastructure this summer, and the White House hopes to take a more deliberate, cooperative approach with Congress than it did on the COVID-19 rescue package, officials said Monday.
The president will announce parts of his “Build Better” package in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. According to its territory, the ambitious program aims to invest for generations in infrastructure, restore domestic production, fight climate change, and keep the United States competitive with China. That could include a $ 3 trillion tax increase.
While emphasizing the urgency of the White House, it insists it will not be seen as an emergency response, such as the $ 1.9 trillion virus bill that Biden signed into law on Republican objections earlier this month. White House officials say the administration wants to make progress on the new legislation before Remembrance Day, which will be passed in the summer.
“We want to make it clear that the president has a plan to fix our infrastructure, a plan to pay for it,” White House spokesman En Psaki said. “But we certainly expect to have discussions with members of Congress as we move forward on areas where they agree, where they disagree, where they would like to put more emphasis.”
The administration sets the tone for Biden’s next high-priority political agenda. The COVID-19 bill, although widespread among voters in both parties, criticized the president for passing it alone with only Democratic votes. White House officials believe that this time there will be a much better chance of gaining some support from the GOP, planning a significant expansion on Capitol Hill.
As congressional committees begin to address specific issues, including China’s other transportation sectors, the White House will encourage those efforts. Then, according to officials, it will operate by raising taxes.
Administration officials are sending signals that the White House will listen to suggestions and criticisms from both sides that significant changes may occur in the legislative process.
At the same time, Congress leaders are preparing their own strategy, as was done in the virus aid package, in the event that Congress hits the GOP opposition wall.
“If they share the goal of building our infrastructure for the future, but do not like how he is going to offer to pay for it, we are happy to see their proposals,” Psaki said. “If they do not want to pay for it, I guess they can offer it too. “Maybe they are not supporting infrastructure spending.”
Infrastructure is a unique opportunity for Biden to succeed in an issue where both his predecessors, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, made great promises that never materialized.
Part of the physical infrastructure of the package is not only the modernization of roads, bridges, railways, public transit, airports. It is expected to include broadband, electric vehicle charging stations, clean energy investments, and domestic production, which will make it much more comprehensive than what Republicans normally discuss.
Next month, when the second package will be introduced, which will focus on universal prenatal, paid family vacation անվճար community free college.
The multimillion-dollar price tag means that any package will eventually have to go hand in hand with tax increases, as opposed to Republicans opting for any infrastructure programs that thwart Trump’s 2017 corporate tax cuts. Biden has promised not to raise taxes on households earning less than $ 400,000 a year.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said at a bus stop in his home state of Kentucky on Monday that if the Biden administration wanted to do an infrastructure project, “Let’s do an infrastructure project.” “Let’s not turn it into a massive effort to raise taxes on entrepreneurship and individuals.”
In addition to raising taxes, the Biden administration may also try to provide cash by changing the way Medicare can negotiate the price of pharmaceutical drugs. It could also boost the audit of wealthier Americans in the IRS, as a recent study found that the richest taxpayers avoid paying $ 175 billion a year.
Initially, White House officials envisioned a plan to cut spending, but this approach was abandoned for fear of raising interest rates, which in turn could turn federal debt payments.
The choice to limit the impact on the federal deficit may help reversal White House critics who say the nation’s spending imbalance is out of control.
But paying for the proposals with new revenue will also force the administration to persuade Congress to pass a tax package for wealthy Americans, companies that together will take the biggest generational growth.
Republicans oppose a huge package of possible tax increases to pay for it. The Senate was evenly divided – 50-50, Democrats could once again have to rely on their votes
Last week, a Republican, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, of West Virginia, warned Democrats to avoid the one-size-fits-all approach, as was the case with the virus relief program.
“I’m very disappointed with what I read because I imagine the same thing will happen,” Capito said.
As part of a group of Republicans who met with Biden to reject an offer to help viruses only, Capito is now wary as Democrats assume other internal priorities for the infrastructure package.
“I think we need to talk to the American people. Is this, are these job creators? ” He said.
On Monday, Senate Democrats said they were seeking even greater opportunities to act alone, relying on complicated budget reconciliation rules to pass the upcoming bills by a simple 51-vote majority, as was the case with the COVID-19 rescue package.
Majority political aides Chuck Schumer’s top political aides have told the Senate that they could use the reconciliation clause for the second time this fiscal year, which is rare. Typically, the process is used only once a financial year or twice a calendar year.
If approved by the MP, in fact, this year and in the following years, there will be twice as many opportunities for that narrow majority to approve some legislations. No decision was made, according to Schumer’s aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The aide said Schumer wanted to maximize his options by allowing Senate Democrats a number of ways to advance Biden’s agenda because of possible Republican obstacles.