The GOP is fighting back against President Joe Biden’s plans to spend trillions of dollars on a new infrastructure package that many Republicans say has little to do with infrastructure at all.
According to Politico, congressional Republicans still aren’t willing to budge on the measure even after Biden’s administration slimmed it down from a price tag of $2.25 trillion to a just as staggering $1.7 trillion.
Republicans are reportedly hoping to get the cost down closer to the $568 billion that would be spent under their own narrower infrastructure proposal.
“Based on today’s meeting, the groups seem further apart after two meetings with White House staff than they were after one meeting with President Biden,” a spokesperson for West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who is leading negotiations for the GOP, told Politico.
“The biggest mistake you could make”
But Republicans aren’t just concerned about the price tag; according to the Daily Caller, they’re also worried about where the money to pay for it all is coming from. In a recent interview, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty (R-CA) blasted Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to help pay for his increasingly progressive agenda.
As the U.S. economy continues to recover from COVID-19, “raising taxes would be the biggest mistake you could make,” McCarthy said, as the Daily Caller reported.
“You won’t find any Republican that will go and raise taxes and that’s the worst thing you can do in the economy — when you are watching inflation, gas prices are going up, and it has not been this high since President Biden was vice president,” he noted.
“The fish or cut bait moment”
Despite the opposition, some in Biden’s party are hoping he abandons bipartisanship and moves on the majorities Democrats currently hold in both chambers of Congress.
“I’ve used this phrase before on the infrastructure, on the bipartisan effort: the fish or cut bait moment,” Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey (D) complained, according to Politico.
“I don’t know when that is precisely but I think for us there’s a real danger in pushing off the fish or cut bait date,” he added.
For its part, the Biden White House has demurred on the subject, saying it’s still open to negotiation both in terms of provisions and price.
“I’m not a mathematician, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. But obviously we proposed a package that was $500 billion less expensive, so it needs less pay-fors. But what that looks like will have to be a part of the negotiation,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, according to Politico.