President Biden on Wednesday outlined what he called a "bold" $2 trillion plan to make aggressive investments in repairing U.S. infrastructure and addressing climate change with the goal of spurring job creation.
The investments would be made over eight years, and Biden’s plan relies on a hike to the corporate tax rate to 28 percent that the White House says will pay for the new investments over 15 years.
Here are five takeaways from the announcement.
The proposal is not bold enough for progressives
Biden’s proposal is being met with resistance from some members of the Democratic Party’s progressive wing who argue that it is not large enough, particularly to address climate change.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted Tuesday that the package “needs to be way bigger,” as she noted that the $2.25 trillion plan would be spent over a much longer timetable than Biden’s rescue package.
Meanwhile, a coalition of progressive organizations making up the Green New Deal Network are pressing Biden for bolder action to address climate change, such as the $10 trillion climate agenda backed by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and other members of the progressive caucus. The groups have organized grassroots events across the country to highlight the message that Biden must go bolder.
Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, described Biden’s plan as a good first step but said that more is needed to address climate change.
“As an infrastructure plan, it’s a home run. As a climate policy, it’s a really significant step, and hopefully there are more steps to come,” Green said.
A lack of Republican support means that Biden will need to keep Democrats in the House and Senate unified behind his plan in order to get it passed using budget reconciliation. That means keeping progressives happy while also addressing concerns from more moderate Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.).
Biden found it relatively easy to keep Democrats in line to pass his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package earlier this year, especially after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that a hike in the federal minimum wage to $15 could not be part of the package.
This could be a little tougher.
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GOP unlikely to offer support
Getting GOP support for a bill paid for through tax increases was always going to be difficult for the White House, and Republicans were quick to signal their opposition to raising the corporate tax rate.
“Our nation could use a serious, targeted infrastructure plan. There would be bipartisan support for a smart proposal. Unfortunately, the latest liberal wish-list the White House has decided to label ‘infrastructure’ is a major missed opportunity by this Administration,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement.
The Biden proposal calls for paying for the legislation over a 15-year period by raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. The proposal leaves out other ideas that had been batted around, such as a wealth tax or an increase in the capital gains tax for certain Americans.
The White House has been adamant that Biden’s proposal is a starting point and the administration will seek out members of Congress in both parties to decide how to best move forward, but it’s unclear how the president will be able to satisfy Republicans who are both opposed to tax increases and against adding to the deficit.
But Biden was unable to attract a single GOP vote for his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
Biden campaigned on uniting the country and his ability to reach across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions in a deeply polarized Washington, but he’s already finding it hard to make headway on a traditionally bipartisan issue such as infrastructure.Read more at The Hill