Biden open to negotiating on corporate tax hike, but says U.S. must take bold action on infrastructure

President Joe Biden speaks throughout an occasion on the American Jobs Plan within the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Washington.

Evan Vucci | AP

President Joe Biden mentioned Wednesday that he’s keen to negotiate on the proposed corporate tax price hike in his $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

“I’m willing to listen to that,” Biden mentioned on the White House when requested if he would think about a decrease corporate tax price than 28%, as his plan at the moment requires.

“We’ve got to pay for this,” Biden added, noting that there are “many other ways we can do it.”

“But I’m willing to negotiate that,” he mentioned.

The president’s comment concerning the corporate tax price got here after he delivered a sweeping protection of the scale and scope of his proposed infrastructure overhaul.

Republicans have been fast to criticize the plan for funding too many tasks that, of their view, fall exterior the definition of infrastructure. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has tried to model the plan a “Trojan Horse” for liberal insurance policies, and different GOP lawmakers have claimed that solely a small fraction of the large invoice goes towards “real infrastructure.”

But Biden argued Wednesday afternoon that “the idea of infrastructure has always evolved to meet the aspirations of the American people and their needs. And it is evolving again today.”

The president mentioned he welcomes debate concerning the specifics of the invoice, and mentioned “any Republican who wants to get this done” is invited to the White House.

But he famous that his personal view is that infrastructure reform needs to be crafted with the long run in thoughts, relatively than centered on repairing present constructions.

“We don’t just fix for today. We build for tomorrow,” Biden mentioned.

“It’s not a plan that tinkers around the edges. It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve done since we built the interstate highway system and won the Space Race decades ago,” the president mentioned.

“It’s a plan that puts millions of Americans to work to fix what’s broken in our country: Tens of thousands of miles of roads and highways, thousands of bridges in desperate need of repair. It’s also a blueprint of infrastructure needed for tomorrow,” he added.

Biden’s proposal, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, consists of roughly $2 trillion in spending over eight years. The White House supplied a 15-year path to funding the plan, partly by climbing the corporate tax price to 28%. Republicans had slashed the levy to 21% from 35% as a part of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax regulation.

The infrastructure plan would additionally implement different measures, resembling boosting the worldwide minimal tax for multinational companies and shutting so-called offshoring loopholes, for funding.

“Building the infrastructure of tomorrow requires major investments today,” Biden mentioned. “The divisions of the moment shouldn’t stop us from doing the right thing for the future.”

The formidable, costly push to replace U.S. infrastructure kicked off simply weeks after Biden signed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill into law. That bundle handed by way of Congress with none GOP help, and it is possible to be even harder for the White House to persuade Republicans to again one other big invoice that additionally consists of tax will increase.

But Biden additionally faces stress from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has already come out against a 28% corporate rate. In a Senate cut up 50-50 between the 2 events, Manchin’s vote may make all of the distinction.

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