- Biden is set to meet with a series of top lawmakers this week to talk infrastructure.
- The “Big Four” – Pelosi, McConnell, McCarthy, and Schumer – will meet with Biden for the first time.
- Biden has expressed eagerness to reach a bipartisan deal on at least parts of his $4 trillion plan.
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Now that President Joe Biden has unveiled both parts of his $4 trillion infrastructure plan, the hard part begins – attempting to get both sides of the aisle on board to pass the massive spending package.
Biden’s $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan and $1.8 trillion American Families Plan include funding for not only roads and bridges, but for care-economy measures such as universal pre-K and free community college. He proposed funding the plan through an increase of the corporate tax rate to 28%, saying he is “sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced.” Republicans oppose Biden’s plan as too large and focused on things apart from “traditional” infrastructure.
This week, Biden is meeting with groups of lawmakers to try to strike a bipartisan deal on at least some of these proposals. He has expressed willingness to negotiate the scope of his plan, including his proposed corporate tax hike. A group of Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, pitched a $568 billion infrastructure plan last month, although Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said the GOP could support up to $800 billion.
Here’s who is on the roster to meet with Biden this week, according to the White House:
Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, both Democrats.
Carper has been a strong Biden ally, supporting both the president’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan and infrastructure plan, but Manchin has become one of the most important Democrats to persuade given his moderate views.
While Manchin favors a $4 trillion infrastructure plan as long as Democrats design ways to pay for it, he recently warned Democrats he may oppose efforts to bypass Republicans multiple times in a single year using reconciliation, the tactic used to approve Biden’s stimulus package without any GOP votes.
The “Big Four” congressional leaders: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader McConnell. This is the first time the group has met together during Biden’s presidency.
McConnell on Sunday expressed support for the GOP-led infrastructure plan, saying a “proper price tag” would be between $600 billion and $800 billion, significant in that he had previously set the party’s limit at $600 billion. He insisted the Republican Party would not repeal Trump’s corporate tax cut of 2017, though.
Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Capito. All Republicans, these six introduced the $568 billion counter-proposal to Biden’s infrastructure plan – significantly smaller than the president’s and funded without any corporate tax hikes.
“This is the serious, most robust plan we’ve put forward as Republicans,” Capito said at a press conference after introducing the GOP plan. “We see this as an offer that’s on the table.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in early April that Biden is aiming to get an infrastructure package passed by the summer and that he will “not tolerate inaction on rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.”