New $900 Billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Gains Steam In The Senate
A bipartisan group of 10 senators is working together on a new $900 billion infrastructure bill that would improve the nation’s roads, bridges, sewage facilities and electric systems, among other priorities. The sticking point has been that Democrats want more spending and higher corporate tax rates, and Republicans want lower spending and oppose any tax hikes.
Some of those in the group included moderate Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire).
President Joe Biden‘s negotiations with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) ended earlier this week after the sides remained hundreds of millions of dollars apart.
Biden has proposed a minimum tax rate of 15%, down from at least 25%, though he has not promised to scrap his tax plan for hiking taxes on the wealthy. Republicans refuse to touch the 2017 tax cut plan, which former President Donald Trump passed.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) said that he might consider a plan that tries to avoid tax hikes, but he has not fully committed to it yet.
“I would consider it, sure,” he told Reuters. “I think there are plenty of pots of money out there. Hopefully, they are not all smoke and mirrors.”
Republicans have suggested taking from funds for COVID-19 relief and pandemic-related unemployment payments.
There have also been conversations on potentially creating an infrastructure bank to fund these sorts of projects.
Separately from the group of 10 senators, 58 House lawmakers, which make up the Problem Solvers Caucus that Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Brian Fitzpatrick lead, have proposed a plan with a $1.2 trillion infrastructure framework. That plan, however, does not include funds for the elderly and disabled Americans and upgrades to housing and schools, which Biden has been championing.