Progressive Democrats urge Biden to drop infrastructure talks with Republicans
Progressive Democrats are calling President Biden abandon it Infrastructure talks with Republicans, increasing pressure on the White House going it alone on a massive multibillion-dollar tax and spending program.
Negotiations began in April and are expected to extend into early June, when Congress returns from recess, as the two sides remain fiercely divided over the next economic spending package – and how to pay it.
Biden last month introduced the US $ 2.3 trillion jobs plan, which would rebuild roads and bridges, expand broadband service, invest billions in green energy and tackle climate change and would create programs to help strengthen care for elderly and disabled Americans. The measure would be financed by increasing taxes on large companies.
COMPARISON OF THE REPUBLICANS ‘$ 928B INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN TO BE TENDERED: WHAT IS IN EACH PROPOSAL?
But Republicans oppose the size and scope of Biden’s proposal, which they say is too expensive and stray too far from “traditional” infrastructure, and have resisted any effort to roll back a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017. To pay for the plans, Biden proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and imposing a higher global minimum on foreign profits of U.S. companies.
The White House has offered to reduce its offer to $ 1.7 trillion, and a group of GOP lawmakers last week countered with a $ 928 billion proposal that only includes $ 257 billion in new funding. (The rest is part of an existing baseline for investments.)
But despite weeks of negotiations, there remains an ideological divide between the two sides over what constitutes infrastructure. The GOP plan notably does not include new spending in a wide range of areas in which Biden has recommended billions, such as electric vehicles, elderly care and veterans hospitals, frustrating some Democrats who want it to be. Biden walks away from the talks.
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“Mitch McConnell has already said 100% of his goal is to block Biden’s agenda,” Rep. Pramila Jaypal, D-Wash tweeted. “So why are we negotiating with the Republicans for a smaller infrastructure plan? Now is the time to take action.”
With narrow majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats have the ability to bypass Republicans and approve the measure on a party basis using a procedural tool known as budget reconciliation – a route that some liberals want to borrow.
“The Republican Party has already shown a pattern of how their vote cannot even be counted,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., told a town hall last week, suggesting Democrats could eventually meet again. cut a package Republicans still don’t support.
This sentiment was echoed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Who warned Americans “want action.”
“The American people want action, not endless ‘negotiations’ and obstructionism, and they will not come and vote for a party that does not hold water,” Sanders tweeted. “If not now when?”
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There are growing signs that the Biden administration is opening up to acting unilaterally to push through the U.S. jobs plan: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday said negotiations would continue in private this week , but he identified June 7 as an end point for a possible conclusion of a deal.
“I think we’re getting closer to a fishing or cut bait moment,” Buttigieg said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union”.