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Politics Republicans plot an infrastructure 2-step: Spend more, then kill Biden’s agenda

03:05  15 june  2021
03:05  15 june  2021 Source:   politico.com

Progressives blast Biden's infrastructure offer to GOP: "$2 trillion was already the compromise"

  Progressives blast Biden's infrastructure offer to GOP: "President Biden can't expect us to vote for an infrastructure deal dictated by the Republican Party" U.S. President Joe Biden walks to the White House residence upon exiting Marine One on January 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden traveled to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit with wounded service members.

Senate Republicans are mulling support for a massive amount of new spending on infrastructure — in part because they think it’ll help kill President Joe Biden ’ s liberal agenda . Democrats can pass a spending bill with only Democratic votes, but they need all 50 of their members to be on board. “It’ll be awful hard to get those moderate Democrats to be for that,” Thune said. “The stars are kind of lining up for an infrastructure bill. And if you do do something bipartisan on that, then I think doing something partisan on reconciliation — in some ways, with certain Democrats — it gets a lot harder.”

Biden faces two options to pass an infrastructure bill by either passing a more moderate version with a bipartisan group of Senate Republicans and Democrats that could survive the 60-vote filibuster, or he could pass the legislation with only 50 votes using budgetary reconciliation. If Biden fails to gain the support of ten Senate Republicans to pass the bill through the Senate, he will have to use reconciliation, although many Senate Democrats have balked at his mammoth proposal for its high price tag or its potential lack of climate change provisions.

Senate Republicans are mulling support for a massive amount of new spending on infrastructure — in part because they think it’ll help kill President Joe Biden’s liberal agenda.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to tip his hand on whether he supports the bipartisan negotiations on Biden's plan for roads and bridges. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to tip his hand on whether he supports the bipartisan negotiations on Biden's plan for roads and bridges.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to tip his hand on whether he supports the bipartisan negotiations on Biden's plan for roads and bridges that are being led by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). But a growing number of Senate Republicans are betting that if a deal is reached on that sort of physical infrastructure, Democrats won’t have the votes needed to pass the rest of Biden’s “soft infrastructure” priorities, such as child care and clean energy.

Pete Buttigieg, Infrastructure Salesman

  Pete Buttigieg, Infrastructure Salesman The secretary of transportation is on the road, talking infrastructure with anyone who will listen.Here’s the winner of the 2020 Iowa caucus, living out his grand political plan to … how exactly would it work? Something like: He takes an inherently snoozer job as a low-ranking Cabinet official, spends a few years quietly kissing up to mostly forgettable members of Congress with talk about railroads and broadband, and going on TV to defend the administration. Along the way, he counts on Biden not to run again and Kamala Harris not to emerge as Biden’s natural heir.

President Biden hopes to pass a $ 2 trillion infrastructure and economic recovery package to jolt the economy after approval of a Covid relief plan. President Biden unveiled a more than $ 2 trillion infrastructure and economic recovery package on Wednesday. The plan aims to revitalize U. S . transportation infrastructure , water systems, broadband and manufacturing, among other goals. An increase in the corporate tax rate to 28% and measures designed to prevent offshoring of profits will fund the spending , according to the White House.

But Biden is determined to find Republican support. The President plans to pursue bipartisan support, according to his advisers. He' s already held multiple bipartisan Oval Office meetings on the issue. Mulvaney, who stepped down as Trump' s special envoy to Northern Ireland after the insurrection, offered a pointed rebuke to Trump' s comments that his supporters were "hugging and kissing" police officers and posed "zero threat," despite widespread violence. "I was surprised to hear the President say that.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) surmised Monday that if a bipartisan package comes to fruition, the only remaining ways for Democrats to pay for a second bill on social spending programs are tax increases — too toxic to pursue. Democrats can pass a spending bill with only Democratic votes, but they need all 50 of their members to be on board.

“It’ll be awful hard to get those moderate Democrats to be for that,” Thune said. “The stars are kind of lining up for an infrastructure bill. And if you do do something bipartisan on that, then I think doing something partisan on reconciliation — in some ways, with certain Democrats — it gets a lot harder.”

The GOP bet might pay off. Sen Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was noncommittal Monday on a second infrastructure package, saying only that “there’s a lot more that needs to be done, so we need to work it the same way we’re working this one.” He declined to say whether he’d support legislation that only had Democratic votes.

Where do infrastructure talks go from here now that Biden's negotiations with Republicans collapsed?

  Where do infrastructure talks go from here now that Biden's negotiations with Republicans collapsed? As new infrastructure talks begin, old differences with Republicans have already emerged.Weeks of negotiations resulted in little headway, with major differences on costs and taxes going unreconciled. Republicans accused the president of changing his demands and being unwilling to compromise on his insistence on "social infrastructure" while the White House said the Republicans' offers didn't meet America's needs.

Mr. Biden pushed back on Monday, saying that after years of calling for infrastructure spending that included power lines, internet cables and other programs beyond transportation, Republicans had narrowed their definition to exclude key components of his plan. “It’s kind of interesting that when the Republicans put forward an infrastructure plan White House officials said that much of Mr. Biden ’ s plan reflected the reality that infrastructure had taken on a broader meaning as the nature of work changes, focusing less on factories and shipping goods and more on creating and selling services.

Biden also wants to encourage domestic manufacturing by making it more expensive for American companies to produce goods and services overseas. Analysts from Bank of America predict that companies that manufacture the equipment used to make semiconductors—the computer chips found in everything from cars to smartphones—are poised to profit from Biden ’ s push to modernize the United States’ digital infrastructure and shore up domestic production of the essential computer components as part of his $ 2 trillion plan.

“You’re putting words in your own mouth,” Manchin said. “I’m not saying that.”

What’s at stake is perhaps trillions of dollars in spending sought by Democrats to provide paid family leave, raise taxes on corporations and act on climate change. Those policies are more likely to fall by the wayside because, though there’s bipartisan hope for physical infrastructure, Democrats’ more progressive priorities have no chance of attracting GOP support.

The bipartisan framework Portman and Sinema are developing totals $973 billion over five years or $1.2 trillion over eight years, including $579 billion in new spending. That’s more new money than a proposal Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va) presented to Biden earlier in the process, before their negotiations fell apart.

Despite the increase in the top line number, even the most conservative Senate Republicans are holding their fire and declining to criticize the proposal. Negotiators are expected to outline the deal in further detail Tuesday at the Senate Republican lunch, according to a source familiar with the talks.

Go green or go bipartisan? Biden's big infrastructure choice

  Go green or go bipartisan? Biden's big infrastructure choice WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s hopes of channeling billions of dollars into green infrastructure investments to fight climate change are running into the political obstacle of winning over Republican lawmakers who oppose that approach as unnecessary, excessive spending. As negotiations unfold in Congress in search of a bipartisan deal, the White House's ability to ensure a climate focus in Biden's sweeping infrastructure package is becoming daunting — so much so that key Democrats are warning the administration to quit negotiating with Republicans, calling it a waste of time that will produce no viable compromise.

In March, Biden unveiled a $ 2 .3-trillion infrastructure plan. On Earth Day, Biden pledged to half U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. According to CNBC, Biden ’ s climate agenda will likely be a “ windfall for ESG investors ”. Steer’s ride sharing subscription model, which includes EVs, is aiming to challenge traditional car ownership by making it so easy … so seamless … and so affordable for users to have their own virtual showroom of EVs delivered to their door- step , on-demand. It was the perfect fit for Facedrive, which is already aiming to be a fierce competitor to Uber in certain ridesharing markets.

Joe Biden ’ s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan, aimed at digging the US out of its Covid-19 slump, is also an attempt to play catch-up with China. Agreeing to spend such an astronomical amount of money, before you even get to the question of ‘how,’ is simply exhausting. When the Republicans dominated the Senate before the election, the bid for a second stimulus relief package simply got nowhere. Right now, it is Biden ’ s honeymoon period, as the opposition party tends to dominate Congress from the mid-term onwards.

Democrats, meanwhile, are aware that their time to get something done is dwindling and that a bipartisan agreement could take up significant floor time. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday said that the infrastructure talks are proceeding on two tracks. The New York Democrat described the first track as bipartisan, while the second encompasses elements of Biden’s plan that won’t get GOP support.

Progressives for weeks have urged Democrats to move swiftly and ditch Republicans in the hopes of getting the most ambitious package possible. A spokesperson for Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) confirmed he'd oppose a bipartisan package, increasing the number of Republicans needed to sign on. But as of now, it’s not clear that Biden's party has the votes to proceed along party lines while sidestepping a filibuster through the so-called budget reconciliation process, regardless of what it includes. Democrats said Monday that they will need to have a broader discussion as a caucus about the second package.

Biden and his aviators greet queen on a sunny afternoon

  Biden and his aviators greet queen on a sunny afternoon WINDSOR, England (AP) — President Joe Biden and his aviator sunglasses met Queen Elizabeth II on bright Sunday afternoon. The queen hosted the president and first lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle, her royal residence near London. Biden flew to London after wrapping up his participation in a three-day summit of leaders of the world's wealthy democracies in Cornwall, in southwestern England. He arrived at the castle aboard the presidential helicopter and was ferried to the queen in a black Range Rover.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who is participating in the bipartisan discussions, said he was “not sure everyone in the caucus” has made a commitment to the arduous step of reconciliation. And Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) added that Democrats discussed last week whether the members now joining Portman and Sinema's talks will “be with us on reconciliation for what is not included" in any bipartisan bill.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said that regardless of whether a deal with the GOP is reached, Senate Democrats will need assurances about a second package of spending that aligns with Biden's initial jobs proposal.

“If a lot of Democratic senators on our side believe that this is all we’re going to get, then I think you’d lose a lot of votes,” Casey said. “But if it’s a two-chapter book, then we can still get most of ‘jobs and families’ done. So we’re going to have to have an agreement among us that we do both.”

Even though Manchin is staying noncommittal, other moderate Democrats are signaling they’ll stick with their party when it comes to Biden’s bigger set of priorities. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who is participating in the bipartisan discussions, said she's fine with sidestepping Republicans but that the caucus will need to discuss what any follow-up bill would include.

Bipartisan negotiators met again on Monday evening. But the infrastructure talks have been in a confusing state for days: Tester said after that meeting that indexing the gas tax to inflation was ruled out as a way to pay for the bill. A few minutes later, Shaheen said that very same idea was still being discussed.

Under the framework outlined last week, the deal would not include tax hikes. Instead, the group is considering paying for the package by re-purposing coronavirus relief funds, establishing an infrastructure financing authority and imposing electric vehicle fees.

In a Monday interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell put the odds of reaching a bipartisan deal at 50-50. But he reiterated that the infrastructure bill can't touch the GOP's 2017 tax cuts and “needs to be credibly paid for."

Capito said Monday that she’s “supportive” of the bipartisan efforts but needs to see more details.

“The pay-fors are going to be really important here,” the West Virginia Republican said. “Obviously that’s where I ran into stumbling blocks with the White House, and mine were very similar, if not the same, as what’s in this plan.”

Why the infrastructure deal is so important for Joe Biden .
President Joe Biden will validate a foundational pillar of his presidency on Thursday -- a quest to court Republicans across Congress' poisoned divides -- if he signs off on a hard won bipartisan infrastructure deal. © Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images US President Joe Biden leaves after speaking about crime prevention, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 23, 2021. Biden's patience seems to have delivered a Senate compromise on the issue that would cut against the prevailing stalemate on Capitol Hill.

usr: 1
This is interesting!