White House Secretary Jen Psaki announced on Friday that a counteroffer for President Biden’s infrastructure and jobs package was presented to Republican lawmakers by White House officials. The revised proposal reduces the cost from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion.
“In our view, this is the act– the art, I should say — of seeking common ground,” Psaki said during a White House briefing on Friday. “This proposal exhibits a willingness to come down in size, giving on some areas that are important to the President — otherwise they wouldn’t have been in the proposal — while also staying firm in areas that are most vital to rebuilding our infrastructure and industries of the future, making our workforce and our country more competitive with China.”
The new proposal reduces the funding for broadband and shifts investments in roads, bridges, and other projects into other legislation to get closer to the $600 billion counterproposal from Republicans. Corporate tax hikes are included in the counteroffer.
President Joe Biden says that he is open to a corporate tax rate between 25% and 28%. The corporate rate is set at 21%. Before former President Donald Trump cut taxes in 2017, the rate was as high as 35%.
Earlier this month, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that Republicans would not budge on the 2017 tax cuts signed by President Trump.
“The counteroffer also reflects our view that the Republican offer excludes entirely some proposals that are key to our competitiveness, key to investments in clean energy and industries of the future and rebuilding our workforce, including critical investments in our power sector, building and construction, workforce training, veterans hospital construction, and the care economy,” Psaki said.
“So we push for increased funding levels for critical transportation infrastructure like rail, especially considering China’s level of investment in such projects, as well as the elimination of lead pipes that poisoned drinking water and resilience projects as extreme weather events, as we’ve seen around the country, continue to become more common as a result of climate change.”
Steve Ricchetti, a counselor to President Biden; Louisa Terrell, White House director of legislative affairs; Brian Deese, National Economic Council Director; Gina Raimondo, Commerce Secretary; and Pete Buttigieg, Transportation Secretary, presented the infrastructure counteroffer to Republican lawmakers.