President Joe Biden will meet with U.S. Senators to discuss infrastructure improvements in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on February 11, 2021.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden will meet with bipartisan Congressmen on Monday to sell his infrastructure plan for more than $ 2 trillion, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.
Congress will return to Washington next week for the first time since Biden unveiled his proposal to fund roads, bridges, airports, broadband, electric vehicles, housing and vocational training while raising the corporate tax rate to 28%. The president faces a problem getting the bill through the House and Senate, where Democrats have a narrow majority and Republicans are skeptical of a huge package of spending.
Biden on Monday will “emphasize the need for a bold, one-time investment in America to get millions of people to work,” Psaki said. She added that the administration expects to publish a list of attendees on Monday.
Since unveiling his plan, Biden has said he would listen to “any Republican who wants to achieve this.” The meeting will begin the president’s efforts to hear the GOP – although differences between the parties’ visions for an infrastructure bill may prevent them from working together.
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Biden signaled that if Republicans refuse to respond to what he believed to be current needs, he could try to pass laws with only Democratic votes through a special budget process. Not only has the GOP called for a fraction of the president’s desired price to be spent on infrastructure, but it has argued that a corporate tax hike would put a strain on the economy. Biden’s plan is to raise the tax rate to 28% after Republicans cut it from 35% to 21% under their 2017 tax bill.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia has urged Biden, among others, to negotiate a deal with Republicans. The Senator signaled this week that he could speak out against the repeated use of budget voting to pass bills without GOP votes.
Manchin, whose vote needs Democrats to get a Senate bill, has also said he prefers a corporate tax rate of 25% versus 28%. Biden said this week that he is “ready to negotiate the tax rate”.
The infrastructure plan is Biden’s second major legislative push since he took office in January. The Democrats passed a $ 1.9 trillion bailout package to coronavirus last month.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said Thursday she hoped her chamber could pass an infrastructure bill as early as July.
The Democrats then want to move to separate legislation dealing with paid vacation, education and health care.
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