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Biden's next big push: Massive infrastructure plan, proposed tax hikes to pay for it

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Biden's next big push: Massive infrastructure plan, proposed tax hikes to pay for it

President Joe Biden's roughly $2 trillion"American Jobs Plan" is expected to be rolled out Wednesday afternoon once the president delivers an economical speech in Pittsburgh, making infrastructure the second big ticket legislative push of his young presidency.

However, the president is coupling it with tax hikes on corporations through an"American Tax Plan," that the White House states will cover the full infrastructure costs over 15 years.

Biden is proposing to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, a return to the degree before the 2017 GOP rewrite of the tax code. Additionally, it raises the global minimum taxation for multinational corporations to 21% and computes it to a country-by-country foundation to hit earnings in tax havens.

On a call with reporters Tuesday night previewing the rollout, a government official wouldn't say if Biden intends to send them as one whole package or different proposals to Congress. They also wouldn't say when some of the proposed infrastructure projects would begin. When asked the number of jobs this will produce, they explained,"this plan will create millions and millions of jobs," preventing a particular number.

Biden previously said that Americans earning over $400,000 will see their taxes increase and tax capital gains as ordinary income, but that is nowhere to be found in the American Tax program.

It's likely that these tax proposals could arise alongside the next half of Biden's"Build Back Better" spending plans, focusing on"generating economic protection for the middle course through investments in childcare, healthcare, education and other locations," White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated Monday.

That part could total more than $1 billion in spending, according to people familiar with a Tuesday briefing for high senators on congressional committees who will participate in crafting the bundle.

The massive infrastructure package is split in to four areas: Transportation, home, maintenance and R&D infrastructure.

Among the suggestions is $621 billion in upgrades to modernize roads, rails, ports, airports, mass transit and highways, $100 billion to remove 100 percent of lead pipes, $100 billion to build out high-speed broadband across the country, $400 billion for community-based care for older Americans and a $180 billion investment in clean energy.

Biden will detail the first part during a speech in industry- and union-centric Pittsburgh, according to the White House. He started his effort there in 2019 by promising to reconstruct"the back of America, the middle class."

When he was president-elect,'' Biden laid out what he called"a two-step plan of recovery and rescue" -- the very first, his COVID relief suggestion, a version of which became law this month, and the second, what he called his"Build Back Better" plan.

This strategy, the then-president-elect stated in January,"will create historic investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, innovation, development and research, and fresh energy. Investments in the caregiving market and in skills and training needed by our employees to compete and win the global market of the future."

Biden has cautioned the significant spending plan, the initial half of his bundle, as he seizes on any early momentum he has after pushing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through Congress.

But with such a razor-thin Democratic majority in the House of Representatives -- he can only manage to lose eight Democratic votes -- and an evenly divided Senate, it remained to be seen if the infrastructure package can pass Congress.

While enhancing airports and roads generally find bipartisan support, the Biden administration's plans to fund developments through tax increases could turn off most, if not all, Republicans, and possibly even some Democrats. The coronavirus relief package was so popular amongst Americans, including Republicans, but it didn't garner a sole Republican vote in Congress.

Since it did with all the aid package, also known as the American Rescue program, the White House has similarly leaned in to popular aid for infrastructure improvements -- a sign it is ready to utilize, and try to form, public opinion for a cudgel to bring members of Congress on board.

Another threat came this week from several New York-area House Democrats who want to watch Biden lift the cap on the deduction for state-and-local taxes, called SALT, imposed by a law then-President Donald Trump signed in to law in 2017.

Doing this would profit suburban homeowners, though some innovative Democrats could balk at the notion of a tax change that would benefit relatively wealthier Americans.

Biden's plan doesn't reverse the cap on SALT deduction.

The White House has indicated that Biden would be willing to negotiate on possible new taxes that are sure to be unpalatable to Republicans and Democrats alike on Capitol Hill.

"The president has a plan to fix our infrastructure and a strategy to pay for this," White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated Monday. "But we're open to having that conversation, and we certainly hope to have the discussion with members of Congress, as we move forward, about areas where they agree, where they disagree, where they would like to see greater emphasis or never."

Biden has said he would like to attempt to pass a significant infrastructure bundle because his second priority -- before legislation on immigration or gun reform, for example -- because he believes the present, divisive political climate might be more tolerant of a paying plan could help the United States"compete and create significant numbers of really good-paying jobs."

"It's an issue of timing," Biden told reporters last week.

However, if Republican support does not materialize this time , Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's office this week hinted at the possibility Democrats in that room could try to push through the president's proposals through a budgetary process known as"reconciliation" -- the same way they handed Biden's COVID-19 relief bill.

That process could allow for a vast majority -- including Vice President Kamala Harris's tie-breaking vote -- to pass Biden's bills, unlike the 60 votes generally needed.

But this step would require assistance from 50 Senate Democrats -- far from ensured following centrists have expressed a need for prioritizing bipartisanship this time around.

Asked on Tuesday night's call when the White House expects to use reconciliation to drive this through Capitol Hill, a government official could only say,"that is the start of a process" and would be reaching out to Republicans and Democrats.

Biden may also face competing pressures within his celebration on the general size of the bundle, with Jayapal along with other progressives encouraging the White House to think larger compared to multi-trillion-dollar proposal Biden is expected to unveil.

"The Biden suggestion on the campaign trail was significantly larger than what's been discussed so far," Jayapal said. "We actually think there's ample room to get the general number around somewhere in that range (of $6.5 trillion and $11 trillion over the subsequent 10 years) to be able to actually handle the scale of investment that we must make."

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