Washington – As the summer goal to pass an infrastructure deal with the Republicans approaches, President Joe Biden faces a dilemma About the more ambitious parts of the proposal that he said would rival the construction of the interstate highway system and the space race.
Does he continue to advance the progressive agenda it has campaigned on with a package addressing “social infrastructure” such as welfare, housing, and climate change, or boost bipartisanship by working with Republicans on a much narrower bill focusing on roads, bridges and railroads?
The Republicans have made it clear that they will not support any elements beyond the physical infrastructure, something Still a critical point of contention for months in negotiations And as the White House indicates, it wants a deal soon
“We want to focus on physical infrastructure – the platforms and services that move people, goods, and services through our economy,” said Senator Pat Tommy, a Pennsylvania Republican, on Thursday. “This is what people understand as infrastructure, and we could reach an agreement if we focus on those items.” “.
Republicans criticized the so-called “human infrastructure” proposal, describing it as beloved liberal projects even before Biden first unveiled his plan for American jobs in March and maintained this position. Another $ 928 trillion counter-offer Released Thursday. Although that was enough to claim progress before the self-imposed Memorial Day standard to rush into a deal, the White House is now turning around the week of June 7, when Congress returns, to produce a “clear direction” on a bipartisan deal. .
Biden said on Thursday as the White House expressed its encouragement for the new Republican proposal: “We will have to close this soon.”
As the holiday approaches, Democratic senators have repeated Biden’s call for an infrastructure package that bypasses bridges and roads.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck said, “We must pass comprehensive legislation on jobs and infrastructure this summer.” Schumer, DNY, told reporters Friday. “The American people have given us the Democratic Senate to make a big, bold change in the major issues we face and that’s what we’re doing.”
Democrats and activists do not want Biden to give in, saying he should go ahead – without Republicans if necessary – to fulfill the ambitious agenda they believe has won them Congress and the White House.
Eileen Cialis of the Progressive Sunrise Movement urged Biden not to “yield to the Republicans,” noting that no one voted for COVID-19 relief package in March.
Senator Kirsten Gillebrand said the country’s post-pandemic phase needs the government to spend money on improving day care, education and other elements of the “care economy”.
“Without these parts, you will not be able to restore the economy,” she said. “So I think it’s a mistake to move forward in a small way, when the moment calls for a robust response to the economic meltdown due to COVID.”
More talks are scheduled for next week after a brief phone call on Thursday between Biden and West Virginia Senator Shelly Moore Capito, the pre-eminent republic on infrastructure negotiations. They both described the call as positive, but they are sticking to their version of the infrastructure.
“What is the definition of infrastructure? We have stayed within the limits of our original plan. I think that’s what Americans think of when they think of infrastructure and that’s definitely what we do too,” she said Thursday during a press conference in which the Republicans revealed their latest offer.
“The big question is the scope,” Capito said.
Biden could choose to go forward alone with the Democrats only by using a legislative maneuver called reconciliation to keep his group intact. But there is no guarantee that he will have the votes until he does. However, if he sacrifices his most ambitious component of scoring the Republican vote, he risks jeopardizing the grand scale that he said was necessary to accelerate the US economy in the 21st century.
Republican Party bid $ 928 billion back in infrastructure
Republican senators outlined a $ 928 billion infrastructure proposal on Thursday that would benefit from unused coronavirus aid, a counter-offer to President Joe Biden’s more comprehensive plan as the two sides struggle to negotiate a bipartisan compromise. (May 27)
Reconciliation, a process subject to certain rules, would allow Democrats to approve a bill by 51 votes without any Republican support. Otherwise, the Democrats will need the support of at least 10 Republicans to overcome a legislative hurdle called the blocking to put the plan to a vote.
Schumer said the use of reconciliation was under “serious study.”
“It is possible that the events of the past few days have made every member of our congregation realize that a lot of our fellow Republicans are not willing to work with us on a lot of issues, even the ones on which we are trying to be bipartisan,” he said Friday.
Such a path would reflect how Biden won approval for his $ 1.9 trillion plan to bail out COVID-19 in March after talks with the Republican failed. But Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell dared Democrats to try it this time, predicting that it would be difficult for Democrats to remain united on an infrastructure plan involving a tax increase.
“They might be able to do it,” McConnell said in an interview last week on Fox News, “but I think it’s going to be really tough, and we’ll fight them all the way if that’s what they’re thinking.” .
The cautious optimism surrounding this week’s new Republican proposal on infrastructure and the promise of more talks with the White House contrasts with a stark reality: Both sides are still far apart.
WH: Infrastructure Ball in the Republican Court
The White House says President Joe Biden is “keen to engage” with Republicans in a counter-infrastructure offer after Republican negotiators rejected Biden’s latest $ 1.7 trillion proposal. Talks stalled before Memorial Day deadline. (May 24)
Senate Republicans raised their bid to $ 928 billion Thursday, several days after Biden slashed the US Jobs Act from $ 2.25 trillion to $ 1.7 trillion.
There is good news: The gap between the two sides is about half of what it was Just two weeks ago. The new Republican plan includes funds for charging electric cars, a priority for the Biden administration as it tries to tackle climate change by cutting fuel emissions.
Infrastructure visualization: Joe Biden wants to spend $ 2 trillion on infrastructure and jobs. These 4 graphs show where the money will go.
But even if Biden adopts a proposal for conventional infrastructure only – identical to what the Republicans want – Both sides are so far still unresolved on how to pay for it.
Republicans are refusing to consider a corporate tax increase Biden wants to use to pay for his plan, indicating that it will cancel the tax cuts they agreed to in 2017, and Democrats are refusing to allow billions to be “redirected” in the recently passed COVID-19 infrastructure exemption as Republicans do In their plan.
Besides competing definitions of infrastructure, the two sides have not agreed which physical infrastructure should be covered.
White House Press Secretary Jane Sackey said the Biden administration remains “concerned” that the Republican bid has little or no funding to repair Veterans Affairs hospitals and railways, overhaul the transportation system, replace the nation’s main pipelines, and invest in clean energy jobs.
It’s not just about the disagreement in the bill among senators, it’s about finding the money to fund it. Where will the money come from to pay for it.
The $ 928 billion package unveiled by Republican senators on Thursday will pay for some transportation improvements by drawing billions in relief money from COVID as part of the Biden US bailout bill passed by Congress in March.
Republicans favor “repurposing” or redirecting funds approved by Congress in March as part of the $ 1.9 trillion US bailout plan. Capito stated that some of the money could come from unspent federal unemployment benefits since 23 states refused to implement the $ 300 weekly benefit to help the unemployed.
This is forbidden, according to Basaki.
“We are concerned that major cuts in coronavirus relief funds may jeopardize the suspended aid to small businesses, restaurants and rural hospitals that are using these funds to get back on their feet after the pandemic is crushed,” she said in her statement.
Meanwhile, Republicans are refusing to budge on the president’s proposal to raise corporate taxes from 21% to 28%, a key pillar of his plan for economic justice to get wealthier Americans to pay more to help the country.
Tommy said raising taxes is unsuccessful.
“We believe that the tax reform of 2017 has greatly contributed to enabling us to achieve the best economy of my life. This is not an easy matter,” he told a news conference on Thursday. “We are not interested in undoing the provisions in the tax reform bill that allowed us to get here.”