- A group of 10 Democratic and Republican senators presented an infrastructure plan that would cost around $ 1,000 billion.
- The White House is evaluating the framework and wondering both about the content of the proposal and how lawmakers want to pay for it.
- As Senators try to win support for their bipartisan plan, Democrats are taking the first steps to pass an infrastructure bill on their own.
(LR) US Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (D -AZ) take a break during an infrastructure meeting for voting on the U.S. Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
An infrastructure plan put together by a group of Senate Democrats and Republicans would cost around $ 1,000 billion, a price that leaves senators with work to convince members of both parties.
The proposal, which aims to modernize physical infrastructure such as transportation and water supply systems, would cost $ 974 billion over five years or $ 1.2 trillion over eight years, a source close to the CNBC told CNBC. plan. It would include $ 579 billion in new spending above the baseline already set by Congress. Biden has asked for about $ 600 billion in new money, according to Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La.
Senators did not announce how they plan to pay for the investments. The proposal “would be fully paid for and would not include tax increases,” the 10 lawmakers who signed the deal said in a statement on Thursday.
The group presented its proposal as a compromise to modernize US infrastructure with bipartisan support in Congress. Senators have yet to secure the support of President Joe Biden and congressional leaders for their plan to gain traction.
In a statement responding to the plan Thursday night, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said “questions need to be addressed, particularly regarding details of policy and pay, among others.”
“Senior White House officials and Jobs’ Cabinet will work with the Senate group in the coming days to get these questions answered, as we will also be consulting with other members of the House and Senate on the way forward.” , did he declare.
The White House has told senators it will not agree to foot a bill by indexing the gasoline tax to inflation or implementing an electric vehicle mileage tax, NBC News reported Thursday . The measures would break Biden’s promise not to raise taxes for anyone earning less than $ 400,000 a year.
It’s also unclear whether the spending will be large enough to convince Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Or progressives who have been impatient with the Biden’s efforts to reach a bipartisan agreement. While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Has said he wants to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, he has also signaled that he aims to block key elements of the economic agenda of Biden.
Schumer and Pelosi’s offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for McConnell did not immediately comment.
Democrats are working on more than one front to pass an infrastructure bill and implement the first element of Biden’s economic recovery agenda. As the White House examines the bipartisan proposal, Democrats have begun to lay the groundwork to push through elements of the US presidential $ 2.3 trillion jobs plan by other means.
One of those tools is the five-year, $ 547 billion surface transportation funding bill put forward by the House transportation and infrastructure committee this week. Democrats could use the measure, which the House could vote on as early as the end of the month, to approve parts of Biden’s agenda.
Biden also urged Schumer and Pelosi to move forward with a budget resolution to put the reconciliation process in place. In doing so, Democrats could pass an infrastructure bill without the support of Republicans.
The path seems blocked for the moment. Senator Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat whose party would need the vote to pass legislation in a Senate split 50-50 by party, has stressed that he wants to pass a bipartisan bill.
Manchin is one of the 10 negotiators of the Senate group.
It is not clear whether Democratic leaders would accept the bipartisan plan’s lack of spending on so-called human infrastructure, such as Biden’s plan to expand care for elderly and disabled Americans. The party could potentially incorporate these proposals into a separate bill based on Biden’s families’ U.S. plan. The proposal focuses on child care, education and health care.
Democrats argued the country needs to improve health care programs alongside physical infrastructure, as both will help Americans get back to work.
Biden also called for raising the corporate tax rate to at least 25% to pay off the first element of his stimulus package. However, Republicans have said they will not change their 2017 tax law, which reduced the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.
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