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Biden says he’s keen to barter and pay for the scope of the infrastructure plan

US President Joe Biden speaks of the fatal police shots of a 20-year-old black man in the Minneapolis suburb as he meets with a non-partisan group of Congressmen to discuss the American Jobs Plan infrastructure package in the Oval Office of the White House Washington, USA, April 12, 2021.

Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

President Joe Biden said Monday he was ready to negotiate with lawmakers over $ 2 trillion in changes to his infrastructure plan.

“I am ready to negotiate the scope of my infrastructure project and the way we pay for it. … I think everyone recognizes that we need a significant increase in infrastructure. It will be down to what.” we call infrastructure, “the President said before a meeting of the Oval Office with members of the House and Senate of both parties.

The president has announced that he will deal with Republicans who are skeptical of his proposal and seek their support for the package. Even so, Biden has stressed that he will move forward without GOP votes because he believes an employment plan is necessary once the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Democratically held Congress returns to Washington after hiatus this week, with infrastructure high on the agenda. It will likely take lawmakers months to come up with and pass massive laws that affect everything from roads, bridges, airports, and trains to broadband, housing, utilities, and vocational training.

It would also raise the corporate tax rate and try to prevent corporate profits from being offshored. The proposed tax hikes have angered Republicans.

In a post-meeting statement, the White House said Biden and lawmakers had “had a good exchange of views and the president asked for their feedback and follow-up on the proposals discussed at the meeting, stressing that inaction is not an option. ”

Democrats want a large package that addresses actions that are not considered traditional transport infrastructure, including expanding broadband access and improving drinking water systems and power grids. Many Republicans have argued that an infrastructure bill should only address transportation.

Before the meeting, Biden said that water systems and broadband should be viewed as infrastructure.

“It’s not just streets, bridges, highways,” he said.

Senate minority chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Again criticized the Democrats Monday for including unrelated priorities in the plan.

“You are launching a campaign to convince everyone that any government policy can be called infrastructure,” he said.

Attendees for Monday’s meeting included Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., And senior member Roger Wicker, R-Miss. The body is responsible for communications technology, highways and aviation, among other things.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris waits for U.S. President Joe Biden to speak in the Oval Office of the White House on April 12, 2021 in Washington, DC, after meeting with members of Congress about the American employment plan.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Wicker isn’t one of the Senate Republicans most likely to broker a deal with the Biden administration. Biden also noted that Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, attended the meeting Monday.

Biden administration officials briefed senators from both parties of the proposal last week, NBC News reported. The House’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Also began briefing officials on projects to be included in the bill, according to NBC.

Republicans have signaled that they will only support an infrastructure bill if Biden limits the scope and price of his proposal. The GOP legislature also criticized Biden’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to offset the investment. Republicans cut the rate from 35% in 2017 to 21%.

If the Democrats choose to pass the bill by budget vote themselves, Biden will have to deal with dissent within his own party. Senator Joe Manchin, DW.V., has asked Biden to raise the corporate rate to 25% instead of 28%.

At the same time, progressives have urged the president to take more aggressive measures to combat climate change and the transition to green energy.

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