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Watch Live: Biden remarks on massive infrastructure package


Washington – President Biden will deliver remarks on Wednesday promoting the U.S. Jobs Plan, his $ 2 trillion infrastructure package, and defending his proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to pay it off.

The president reiterated his willingness to work on a bipartisan basis to improve the plan he presented, saying he and the vice president would meet with lawmakers from both sides and “be open to good ideas and good faith negotiations.” .

“We will not be willing to do nothing. Inaction is just not an option,” Biden said.

He took issue with Republicans’ criticism of raising the corporate tax rate or including provisions that do not appear to relate to the traditional definition of infrastructure, such as updating veterans hospitals and expanding broadband access. Mr. Biden argued that trains and highways weren’t considered traditional infrastructure until America established interconnected tracks and roads.

“The idea of ​​infrastructure has always evolved to meet the aspirations of the American people and their needs, and it is evolving again today,” Biden said.

Mr Biden has proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and renegotiating a global minimum tax on multinational corporations. The president also promised that no one who earns less than $ 400,000 would see their taxes increased.

Republicans criticized the size of Mr Biden’s infrastructure proposal and argued that insufficient amount would be spent on projects such as the construction of highways.

“When people think of infrastructure, they think of roads, bridges, ports and airports,” GOP Senator Roy Blunt said Sunday in an interview with “This Week” on ABC News.

But the Biden administration argues that the definition of infrastructure should be broader and include ideas such as investing in electric car charging stations, improving access to clean water and strengthening home care for the elderly and disabled.

Despite Mr Biden’s efforts to get Republicans to back his plan, GOP lawmakers are unlikely to vote for such a big package that also increases corporate taxes. Since most laws require 60 votes to advance in the Senate, and Democrats only hold a majority of 50 seats, Democrats can use the budget reconciliation process to pass the bill, which allows legislation to be approved. by simple majority of votes. Congress used the fiscal reconciliation to pass Mr. Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion US bailout without any Republican votes.

Parliamentarian of the Senate ruled earlier this week that Congress can use fiscal reconciliation multiple times per fiscal year, a push from Democrats seeking to shift Mr. Biden’s budget priorities to a simple majority.

Mr Biden’s proposal has also been criticized by Progressive Democrats, who say it does not go far enough. And at least one senator, moderate Democrat Joe Manchin, has expressed concern over raising the corporate tax rate to 28%, advocating raising it to 25% instead. However, Democrats are more likely to side with the President’s package than Republicans.

Sara Cook contributed reporting.

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