A crack across the street can be seen as Nevada Department of Transportation officer Jarrid Summerfelt repairs damage to U.S. Highway 95 after a major earthquake near Tonopah, Nevada on May 15, 2020.
David Becker | Reuters
President Joe Biden will split his sweeping plan to improve the country’s infrastructure into two separate parts, which he will reveal every few weeks, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday.
Psaki told Fox News on Sunday that Biden will unveil the first part of his plan on Wednesday, which will focus on things like rebuilding roads and railways. The second part of Biden’s plan will include childcare and health care reforms – aspects of so-called social infrastructure – and will be released “in just a few weeks,” she said.
The New York Times reported Monday that Biden’s advisors recommended Biden to separate traditional infrastructure proposals from the other aspects of his plan in order to ease the burden of social services on families. Overall, the legislation is expected to cost more than $ 3 trillion.
Some Biden advisors believe splitting the package and calling for the road and bridge proposal may make it easier to get Republican support, the Times reported. Documents verified by the newspaper showed that it could contain $ 1 trillion, mainly for building and repairing physical infrastructure with an emphasis on combating climate change.
The second part of Biden’s plan would include proposals like Free Community College and Universal Prekindergarten, the Times reported. Psaki said the second plan will “address many of the issues Americans face,” citing childcare and health care costs.
Psaki suggested that Biden’s proposal could be accompanied by tax increases, but declined to provide details.
“The full package that we are still working on, but he will come up with some ways to pay for that and he is excited to hear ideas from both parties as well,” she said.
Biden has said that he intends to levy taxes on high net worth individuals and businesses, although he has yet to come up with a detailed plan to do so.
Republicans are largely against tax increases. Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said there will be “no enthusiasm on our side for a tax hike” to fund infrastructure.
Talk of Biden’s next big squeeze on the economy comes just weeks after the president signed a $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that would fund vaccine distribution, as well as the payment of incentives for most Americans included.
The coronavirus bill was passed without Republican support through a special congressional mechanism known as budget balancing. The nearly $ 2 trillion package was funded by federal loans.
The White House has not said whether it will use the reconciliation to pass laws related to its infrastructure agenda, although it is likely that separating the two parts of the plan is aimed at avoiding the streamlined process for at least one bill.
Republicans and Democrats have both been pushing for a bipartisan infrastructure deal for years.
“We’re not quite on the legislative strategy yet, Chris, but I’ll say I don’t think Republicans in this country think we should be 13th in the world in terms of infrastructure,” Psaki told host Chris Wallace.
“Roads, railways, reconstruction, this is not a partisan issue. The president will talk about that a lot this Wednesday,” she said.
Psaki did not say whether the plan would be limited to two acts or whether more discreet bills could be introduced.
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