President Joe Biden is due to huddle with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday to discuss his proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, as he faces resistance from Republicans and even some Democrats.
The president’s plan would pump money into transportation, water and broadband projects, and also into home- and community-based health-care services. The administration’s definition of infrastructure
has rankled some Republicans, who say the proposal is too big and should focus on things like roads and bridges.
At least one key Democrat, meanwhile, has said the proposed hike in the corporate tax rate to 28% to pay for the plan isn’t acceptable. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has said he could support a 25% rate.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are slated to meet with four Democrats and four Republicans on Monday to discuss the proposals. Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Alex Padilla of California will attend, as will GOP Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
From the House, Republican Reps. Garret Graves of Louisiana and Don Young of Alaska will join the meeting alongside Democratic Reps. Donald Payne Jr. of New Jersey and David Price of North Carolina.
The White House said the meeting will focus on “the need for a bold, once-in-a-generation investment in America to put millions of people to work.”
Biden has said he is willing to listen to ideas about the plan, including on how to pay for it, but that inaction on infrastructure is not an option. Democrats could again use the fast-track procedure known as reconciliation to pass the infrastructure proposal in the Senate with 51 votes, though Biden has suggested he wants a bipartisan deal.
“We’ll have a good-faith negotiation with any Republican who wants to help get this done,” the president said in a March 31 speech in Pittsburgh. “But we have to get it done.”