Biden to push infrastructure plan if no Republican support, Energy Secretary says By Reuters

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2/2 © Reuters. Daily press conference at the White House in Washington 2/2

By Katanga Johnson and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden would be willing to push his $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan without the support of Republican lawmakers if he cannot reach a bipartisan agreement, he said on Sunday the Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm. Granholm said Biden would prefer his plan have Republican backing but, if that doesn’t work, he would likely support using a procedural strategy called reconciliation to allow Democrats to pass it in the Senate. “As you said, he was sent to the presidency to do a job by the United States. And if the vast majority of Americans, Democrats and Republicans across the country support spending in our country and do not allow us to lose the race globally, then he’s going to do that, “Granholm said on CNN’s” State of the Union. ” Most Americans currently support the Democratic president’s plan, said Granholm, one of several senior officials in the Biden administration who promoted the proposal on television news shows Sunday. Since taking office in January, the Democratic president has repeatedly said he wants to work with Republicans. But the infrastructure plan, his second major legislative initiative, so far seems unlikely to garner more bipartisan support than his first, a $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package that was approved only with Democratic support last month. , using reconciliation. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last week that Biden’s infrastructure plan was “bold and bold” but would increase taxes and debt. He promised to fight it “every step of the way.” Republican Senator Roy Blunt on Sunday urged Biden to significantly reduce the plan if he wanted the support of Republican lawmakers. “If we went back and looked at roads, bridges, ports and airports, and maybe even groundwater systems and broadband, I’d still be talking about less than 30% of this whole package,” Blunt said on “Fox. News “. Sunday. “Blunt said he believed a smaller goal, around $ 615 billion, would be more acceptable to some of his Republican colleagues. Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi joined other members of his party in trying to present Biden’s plan as a tax increase rather than an effort to repair and rebuild the nation’s transportation, communications, water and electricity grids. “What the president proposed this week is not an infrastructure bill. It’s a huge tax increase, “Wicker told NBC’s” Meet the Press. “Biden’s plan would raise the corporate income tax rate after deductions to 28% from 21% today. His predecessor as president, Donald Trump, and Republican lawmakers lowered the corporate rate from 35% to 21% in 2017. Trump repeatedly promised to address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure during his presidency, but never delivered on that. Infrastructure plan investments Biden’s policies are long-term and much needed to drive job growth, said Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, on the Fox program. The initiatives will serve the country well into the 2030s and beyond, the secretary added. of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg. “Right now, we are still moving away from infrastructure decisions that were made in the 1950s,” Buttigieg said on NBC.