United States President Joe Biden will address the Middle East on May 20, 2021 at the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, DC.
Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden wants Republicans to increase spending on their infrastructure plan ahead of Friday’s talks that will determine whether Washington can pass bipartisan law to upgrade transportation, broadband and water systems.
During a meeting on Wednesday, Biden told GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito that he wanted the plan to include $ 1 trillion in new spending – or above the baseline set under the existing policy, NBC News reported. While Republicans recently sent Biden a counteroffer totaling $ 928 billion, it contained only about $ 250 billion in new money.
Biden also reiterated that he plans to fund an infrastructure bill by increasing the corporate tax rate, according to NBC. The GOP opposes any change to its 2017 Tax Act, which cut corporate tax from 35% to 21%.
The president also offered an alternative to try and win over the Republicans. He suggested relying on a minimum 15% tax to curb underpayment by profitable American companies, a source told CNBC. Despite the offer, Biden is not giving up on plans to raise the corporate tax rate to at least 25% or raise taxes for wealthy individuals.
The White House has not responded to CNBC’s requests to clarify Biden’s tax proposals.
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Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, shared the details of the meeting with five other Republican senators on her infrastructure negotiation team, NBC reported. The GOP expects to send Biden another counter offer on Friday, the day Biden and Capito want to speak again.
The priorities outlined by Biden on Wednesday highlight the hurdles negotiators face on the way to a bipartisan deal. Despite weeks of maneuvers, the parties did not agree on what should be included in an infrastructure bill or how the plan should be financed.
The White House has signaled that it could go ahead and try to pass laws only with democratic votes if talks don’t progress by next week. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told CNBC on Wednesday that the negotiations were “limited in time”.
However, neither Democrats nor Republicans have shown that they want to be the ones to leave the talks.
The GOP’s $ 928 billion plan was roughly half of Biden’s latest $ 1.7 trillion proposal. Democrats want a bill to go beyond conventional notions of infrastructure, but Republicans have opposed including policies on transport, broadband and utilities.
The White House package includes major investments in care for elderly and disabled Americans, homes, schools, electric vehicles, and clean energy. Democrats have emphasized the need to stimulate the economy over the long term by making it easier for workers to find care for dependent family members and by preparing buildings and critical infrastructure for the effects of climate change.
Republicans intend to limit a plan to investments in areas such as roads, bridges, airports, ports, waterways, broadband and water systems.
Agreeing on how to offset expenses could prove just as difficult as deciding what to include on the bill. Republicans have announced that they will not agree to an increase in corporate taxes. Biden wants to raise the rate to at least 25%.
The White House rejects a GOP proposal to reuse the coronavirus aid money passed by the Democrats earlier this year.
– CNBC’s Ylan Mui contributed to this report
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