“This is not a plan that tinkers around. It’s a one-time investment in a generation in America, ”Biden said in an address to the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday.
“The divisions of the moment shouldn’t prevent us from doing the right thing for the future,” Biden said on the same day his Treasury Department released a new tax plan to help pay for the proposed employment program. .
Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure package would invest in bridges, highways, water treatment, electric power, rural internet and new projects to fight floods and wildfires .
The Democratic president is presenting it to the public as a way to create jobs for 19 million Americans, many of whom are currently out of work and do not have a college degree.
The president also presented it as an investment in the global competitiveness of the United States, especially against China which is ahead, he said.
“Do you think the rest of the world is waiting? Do you think China is waiting? Biden asked rhetorically.
“They are not waiting but they are counting on American democracy to be too slow, too limited and too divided to keep pace,” he warned.
In Congress, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke out against Biden’s plan, calling it a “Trojan horse” for Democrat-backed welfare spending and excessive tax increases.
Biden has the upper hand in negotiations with Republicans because Democrats, who control both houses of Congress, can pass another big spending bill this year without Republican votes.
Biden proposes to increase corporate tax to 28%, down from 21% under the previous Trump administration. Too many American companies are using loopholes in the tax code to pay no tax, he said.
“We have to pay for it. There are many other ways to do this. I’m open to negotiating this, ”Biden said, reiterating that he would not raise taxes for the majority of middle-class citizens earning less than $ 400,000 a year.
Separately, Biden’s Treasury Department is proposing a global minimum corporate tax for nations around the world and eliminating tax havens and deductions that companies use to move jobs and profits overseas, a he declared.
The Treasury’s “Made in America Tax Plan” released Wednesday aims to increase the revenues of US multinationals that currently pay an average 7.8% in income tax, according to the plan (pdf).
The president said he would order the IRS to step up enforcement against companies that do not report their income.
Senator Chris Coons, a Democratic ally of Biden, said on Wednesday that securing Republican support for Biden’s plan would be a challenge, but that a number of GOP senators have expressed willingness to agree to a package of smaller infrastructure.
“There is an opportunity here for us to come together around a smaller package and by smaller, I mean hundreds of billions of dollars that are directly targeted in the hardware infrastructure,” Coons told Punchbowl News , a congressional media.
McConnell agreed on Wednesday afternoon, the Reuters news agency reported, telling reporters in Kentucky: “If we could agree on the definition of infrastructure – and I think it must clearly include roads, bridges and broadband – there might be a way forward. But it needs to be paid credibly, not by reversing Trump’s 2017 tax cuts.
At the same time, Biden also needs to satisfy the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who wants to see even greater public investment than the $ 2 trillion he has offered.
White House officials hope the focus on climate change projects will be supported by progressive lawmakers. Environmental groups are backing Biden’s plan which includes funding for new electric vehicles and alternative energy projects in solar and wind.