GOP Leadership Calls Biden Oval Office Infrastructure Meeting ‘Productive’
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris organized a bipartisan meeting with House and Senate party leadership Wednesday to talk through key points of the American Jobs Plan infrastructure bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) were all in attendance alongside Biden and Harris. While the group did not announce a compromise, Republican leadership called the meeting “productive.”
“There is certainly a bipartisan desire to get an outcome,’ McConnell said in a statement soon after the meeting. The Senate leader then specified in a later press conference, however, “We’re not interested in reopening the 2017 tax bill. We both made that clear to the president. That’s our red line.”
McConnell was mirrored by McCarthy who said, “You won’t find any Republican that will go and raise taxes and that’s the worst thing you can do in the economy — when you are watching inflation, gas prices are going up, and it has not been this high since President Biden was vice president,” in the same press conference beside McConnell.
The $2.25 trillion plan would be executed in four parts over eight years, dedicating several billion dollars to initiatives from health care to the environment. The largest outlay is $650 billion dedicated to widening Americans’ access to clean water and cheap broadband Internet. Another $620 billion is set aside for transportation, more than doubling past investments into public transit. $174 billion would be directed to electric vehicle initiatives. $580 billion will be dedicated to strengthening United States manufacturing and then several other funds are put aside for specific industries like $50 for semiconductor manufacturing and another $40 billion to increase domestic research. As for raw infrastructure, a record $20 billion is being set aside for new highways and roads to “reconnect,” according to Biden, neighborhoods that have been cut off from industry.
To pay for the increased spending, Biden and his team plan to increase the corporate income tax, which was slashed under former President Donald Trump, raising it from 21% to 28%. Also, the White House will implement a 21% minimum tax on global corporate earnings. These changes alone are “fully paying for the investments in this plan over the next 15 years,” Biden said.
“The bottom line here is we’re going to see whether we can reach some consensus on a compromise,” Biden said in a press conference before the meeting. “We’re going to talk a lot about infrastructure, to see if there’s any way that we can reach a compromise that gets the people’s work done and is within the bounds of everyone agreeing.”