Biden open to negotiate on infrastructure package

President Biden said Wednesday that he is open to compromise with Republicans on funding for his job and infrastructure package that is currently set to cost about $2 trillion. 

“Debate is welcome. Compromise is inevitable. Changes to my plan are certain,” Biden said. He said that he and his administration are “open to good ideas and good-faith negotiations,” adding that he will soon be inviting Republican lawmakers to the White House. He reiterated the importance of the bill being passed even with compromises. “Here’s what we won’t be open to: We will not be open to doing nothing,” he said. “Inaction is simply not an option.”

 One of the more contentious issues Biden is willing to negotiate on is the corporate Tax rate. Biden proposed a 28% rate which has been a sticking point for many. Senator Joe Manchin, a democrat from West Virginia expressed support for raising the rate from 21 to 25 percent, but that he was not in favor of raising it all the way to 28. 

The Department of Treasury came out Wednesday with what the tax increases would be under the proposed plan. The report said that in order to offset the costs of the package, the tax increases would raise about $2.5 trillion over 15 years. Biden said that while he is open to ideas about how to pay for the plan, but also reiterated his campaign promise that he will not be raising taxes on households earning less than $400,000 per year. He plans instead to get te money by raising taxes on businesses and corporations. 

“Here you have 51 or 52 corporations of the fortune 500 haven’t paid a single penny in taxes for three years. Come on, man. Let’s get real,” said Biden. He was referring to the report released earlier this week by the thinktank Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy which showed 55 corporations who saw zero tax liability in 2020. Some large corporations have come out in support in the package, including the tax increase. Lyft CEO John Zimmer recently told CNN that the company supports the higher tax rate, as well as Biden’s desire for electric vehicles and infrastructure. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also said he was in support of a rise in the corporate tax rate and called for a “balanced solution that maintains or enhances U.S. competitiveness. 

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen told reporters Wednesday that this infrastructure plan would end the global “race to the bottom” in regard to corporate taxation. “Our tax revenues are already at their lowest level in generations,” she said. “If they continue to drop lower, we will have less money to invest in roads, bridges, broadband and R&D.” 

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