Biden, Senator accepts infrastructure contract
- The agreement between 11 Republican senators and 10 Democratic senators broke a long deadlock.
- The bill requires 60 votes to pass the Senate to overcome the filibuster.
Washington – A bipartisan group of President Joe Biden and 21 senators have come to a compromise to modernize the country’s deteriorating transportation and public works system, putting the president on his radical infrastructure agenda. I was able to go through the foreground of.
Still, the president has revealed that he will only sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill if Congress also approves his broader climate and family agenda, which is only supported by the Democratic Party.
After a 30-minute meeting with the Senator in the Oval Office, Biden announced a breakthrough, ending the week’s deadlock over price tags and the largest shipping package payment method ever approved by the Congress.
The $ 1.2 trillion plan includes eight years of $ 579 billion in new spending focused solely on physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railroads, broadband internet, water pipes and sewer and electric vehicles. .. He offers several ways to pay the expenses, including strengthening the enforcement of IRS taxes to avoid Biden’s resistance to a gas tax increase and Republicans’ opposition to a tax increase. on corporations.
“We have a contract,” Biden said with a smile when he joined the ten senators outside the West Wing on Thursday. “We made a serious compromise on both ends.”
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Although far from guaranteeing that it will be adopted by parliament, compromises have great potential, even in a strongly divided parliament. With the backing of 11 Republicans and 10 moderate Democrats, the infrastructure bill would exceed the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster if all senators voted. Let’s do it.
In a statement from the East Room of the White House, Biden showed the world that “we can function, serve and do important things,” he said, “long overdue” infrastructure. Announced the investment. But he also called it an “important day” for only half of his economic agenda.
At the same time, he said he would pursue separate legislation to pass the proposals for subsidized child care, home care, climate change, kindergartens and free community colleges. Biden calls it “the human infrastructure” that Republicans oppose and liberals promote. He is expected to resort to a piece of legislation called reconciliation, which would allow Democrats to pass the bill by a simple majority in the 50-50 Senate where Vice President Kamala Harris could sever the relationship. Let’s do it.
“We’re trying to compromise there, and if we can’t, I’ll see if we can get all Democrats to a job,” Biden said. “They will ride on two tracks. ”
Some progressive Democrats fear that Biden’s willingness to compromise with Republicans could jeopardize his broader social safety net initiative against climate change. But Mr Biden said he would not sign a bipartisan infrastructure bill unless a “human infrastructure” reconciliation bill was also on his desk.
“If they don’t come (both), I haven’t signed it. It’s really easy, ”Biden said.
From the start of negotiations, Republicans were not upset by their position that bipartisan transactions stick only to physical infrastructure and avoid tax hikes for businesses and the wealthy.
The bipartite agreements archive the goal of the two Republicans. We are proposing $ 312 billion for transportation, including $ 109 billion for road and bridge repairs, $ 66 billion for passenger and freight railways, $ 49 billion for public transportation and $ 25 billion dollars for airports. The compromises include $ 73 billion for electricity and electrical infrastructure, $ 65 billion for broadband expansion and $ 55 billion for water and sewer projects.
“We couldn’t get everything we wanted,” said Sen. Rob Portman of R-Ohio, one of the group’s main negotiators, but the parties are new. He said he came together in the “basic infrastructure package” without adding taxes. “And with the commitment of Republicans and Democrats, we intend to cross the finish line.”
To pay for the infrastructure, the senator and Biden agreed to more than 12 sources of funding by strengthening the Internal Revenue Service and implementing withholding tax. The deal includes $ 40 billion in IRS personnel to track individuals who have not paid the amount they owe.
Biden also agreed to reuse the unused COVID-19 relief fund adopted in 2020 under the Trump administration and unused unemployment insurance benefits from Biden’s bailout. Other sources include public-private partnerships, private sector bonds, and asset recycling. The transaction will create a new infrastructure lending institution to issue bonds for clean transportation and clean energy.
Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), Moderate Voters, said the deal “meets the needs of 21st century countries.” Manchin’s vote is important for Democrats to embrace Biden’s agenda on climate change and the family through reconciliation. He does not promise to support the settlement package, but has said he promises to “work on it”.
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Democratic leaders have set a quick timetable for the two bills. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer wants to vote in both the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Senate in July before Congress leaves for the upcoming summer recess.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured her fellow Democrats that the House would not pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill until the Senate tabled a bill that focused on “human infrastructure. From Biden.
“If there is no law of reconciliation, there is no law of infrastructure. Concise and simple.
After Biden agreed to cut his original $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan and seek approval for family and climate proposals separately, the bigger issue became methods of paying bills. Republicans opposed triggering former President Donald Trump’s tax cut in 2017, forcing Biden to withdraw from his efforts to raise corporate tax rates from 21% to 28% in a bipartisan package . .. Increases in corporate and other taxes on the wealthy are expected to be included in the Democratic settlement bill.
Republican senators have proposed indexing the fuel tax to electric vehicle inflation and new user tariffs. However, the White House strongly opposed both options, saying it would forgo Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes for Americans with incomes below $ 400,000.
Republican Senator Susan Collins said: “We have agreed on price tags, ranges and payment methods. “It was not easy to get agreement on all three, but it was essential.”
R-Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said the compromise was “We can actually work, we can actually do something and do something for Americans, not Republicans or Democrats. I can do it. “
After:White House stands firm on gasoline tax hike as Senator Biden prepares to meet in infrastructure
After:Biden ends infrastructure talks with Republican senator group, pushes moderates
New bipartisan effort
Biparty Senate talks began after Biden finished previous negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, an R-Ky-backed Republican Senate committee leader.
Biden’s scaled-down infrastructure proposal, backed by Republicans, fulfilled the campaign’s commitment to pursue transparency, but received backlash from progressives, especially climate supporters. They are afraid they will not vote for the settlement package now that moderate Democrats have claimed a bipartisan victory in infrastructure.
Senator Bernie Sanders of the House Finance Committee said of Dean Obeidall: “Unless this is written in stone, there will be no bipartisan agreement. ” Performance.
“I can’t afford to kick tin cans anymore,” said Lauren Maunus, advocacy director for Sunrise Movement, a youth-led environmental group, on the climate change initiative. She called Biden’s first proposal “already a compromise,” saying it would take $ 1 trillion a year to tackle the climate crisis.
“When the Democrats agree to wet it more, they blame the Americans for immeasurable devastation,” she said. “We don’t need climate or trade.”
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Ten senators supporting the infrastructure contract include Jeanne Shaheen in Manchin, New Hampshire, Kyrsten Cinema and Mark Kelly in Arizona, John Tester in Montana, Mark Warner in Virginia, Christoons in Delaware and New Hampshire. Maggie Hassan and John. Hicken Looper in Colorado. Angus King, an independent Democratic rally from Maine, also backed the plan.
Eleven Republicans include Murkowski, Collins, Portman, Bill Cassidy, Louisiana, Mitt Romney, Utah, Richard Barr and Tom Tyris, North Carolina, Lindsey Graham, South Carolina, and Mike, South Dakota. ・ Round, Todd Young, Indiana , Jerry Moran. Kansas.
Contact Joey Garrison on Twitter @ joeygarrison.