BREAKING NEWS: Jen Psaki says Biden will REDUCE his infrastructure package from $2.3 trillion to $1.7 trillion as a counter-offer to the Republicans’ $586billion plan
- The White House is dialing back its infrastructure proposal to come closer to a Republican alternative
- The latest offer will come in at $1.7 trillion
- A group of Senate GOP negotiators offered their own $586 billion plan that sticks to more traditional programs
- White House is rejecting GOP user fee suggestions
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the Biden administration will reduce the size and cost of the plan from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion during ongoing negotiations with Republicans.
To get there, the White House is slicing some programs dear to the president – but isn’t ruling out trying to tack some of them onto other legislation down the road.
Psaki said at the Friday briefing there would be less investment in research and development and lower funding for broadband access.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the Biden administration will reduce the infrastructure package from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion during ongoing negotiations with Republicans
It comes just weeks after the Republicans released a $568billion counter-proposal. These and other Republicans have blasted Biden proposals that falls outside traditional ‘infrastructure.’
Biden’s ambitious plan has been criticized by the GOP for being too broad and including a vague definition of the term.
His package has included money for items such as affordable housing, a ‘Climate Corps’ and more green initiatives.
President Biden campaigned in part on his ability to work with Republicans in Congress to get results
Spending In Republican Infrastructure Plan
Roads and Bridges: $299 billion
Public transport: $61 billion
Rail: $20 billion
Drinking water and waste water: $35 billion
Airports: $44 billion
Safety: $33 billion
Ports and inland waterways: $17 billion
Broadband infrastructure: $65 billion
Water storage: $14 billion
The infrastructure plan that he has pushed as a way to rebuild America and take on China will be funded by an increase in taxes – mainly on corporations and Americans earning more than $400,000.
Progressive Democrats have also said the infrastructure package doesn’t cover enough and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called for the figure to be closer to $10trillion.
At the end of April, Senate Republicans introduced a $586billion that focused on roads, bridges and transit systems.
To pay for their proposal, Republicans said they would use a combination of user fees, including for electric vehicles, and on redirecting unspent federal dollars.
But the outline didn’t offer specifics on payment, including which federal programs would lose those unspent dollars.
Asked whether there were changes to how Biden would pay for it, Psaki said the president was standing firm on not raising taxes for anyone earning less than $400,000 per year.
‘The president is not willing to raise taxes on Americans earning under $400,000 per year through a gas tax or through user fees. He believe the extraordinarily wealthy, that companies that many of whom have not paid taxes in recent years can afford a modest increase to pay for middle class jobs,’ she said.
On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for corporations to pay their ‘fair share’ by funding President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plans – and called his plan to roll back 2017 cuts a return to ‘historical norms.’
Yellen made the remarks in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global forum on Economic Recovery, where she said U.S. infrastructure was in pressing need of modernization.
‘We believe the corporate sector can contribute to this effort by bearing its fair share: We propose simply to return the corporate tax toward historical norms,’ said Yellen.
A handout from Senate Republicans detailing their infrastructure plan