The White House said Thursday that there is no deadline next week for a breakthrough on infrastructure plan negotiations with Republicans, as President Joe Biden plans more talks with a key GOP lawmaker.
On Sunday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on CNN that there needed to be a “clear direction” on infrastructure by June 7, when Congress returns to Washington after a Memorial Day break.
Briefing reporters on Thursday, meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s goal continues to be signing a bill this summer. On Friday, he is set to meet Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican who is the GOP’s chief infrastructure negotiator.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Biden would be open to changing how an infrastructure package would be paid for. He emphasized in a Wednesday meeting with Capito his proposal to establish a minimum corporate tax of 15%. As the Post said, the change would take aim at dozens of profitable U.S. corporations that pay little or nothing to the federal government annually. The minimum tax had been previously proposed as part of Biden’s larger agenda.
Republicans have rejected Biden’s initial proposal to pay for investments in roads and bridges by raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%. Psaki, however, said Biden has not abandoned that plan.
“We have a range of means for moving the president’s ideas and proposals forward,” she said, but reiterated Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on those making less than $400,000.
Capito and other Senate Republicans working on compromise infrastructure legislation are discussing making a counteroffer to the White House on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported.