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With warning to Democrats, Manchin points the way to Biden’s agenda

Republican senators, sung by their experience on the pandemic aid bill, responded to Mr Biden’s pro-bipartisan gestures by issuing a frosty statement saying that the last time he made a call public to work together, “the administration has categorically dismissed our effort as totally inadequate. in order to justify its “go-it-alone” strategy. “

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, pushed the administration to negotiate an infrastructure measure that would represent about 30% of the proposed $ 2.25 trillion, before turning to budget reconciliation for any additional expenditure increases.

“My advice in the White House has been to take this bipartisan victory, do it in a more traditional infrastructure way, and then if you want to force the rest of the package on Republicans in Congress and across the country, you can certainly do it. do, ”Mr. Blunt said.

Most importantly, Republicans aren’t interested in raising corporate taxes that would essentially reverse their most important legislative achievement of the Trump era. Neither have corporate groups, which have helped negotiate bipartisan compromises on economic issues in the past, but have lost some power in recent years as populist impulses swept both sides.

Kentucky Republican and Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell called the tax proposal “an effort to rewrite the 2017 tax bill,” which itself was passed through budget reconciliation without a Democratic vote.

The Trump tax law “in my opinion was primarily responsible for the fact that in February 2020 we had the best economy in 50 years,” McConnell said. “But they’re going to tear this down.”

Still, business lobbyists and some lawmakers are hoping Mr Manchin’s appeal could push Mr Biden and congressional leaders towards a set of mini-compromises on infrastructure. These deals could include significant research and development spending for emerging industries, like advanced batteries, in the supply chain bill, which enjoys bipartisan sponsorship in the Senate. They could also include spending a few hundred billion dollars on highways and other surface transportation projects. This could satisfy at least part of Mr Manchin’s quest for bipartisanship and give both sides a chance to claim victory.

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