President Joe Biden will host Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Oval Office Monday as he tries to sell them on his $ 2 trillion infrastructure package.
The meeting comes as the administration prepares for another tax round – this time for wealthy individuals – to pay for the second phase of Biden’s infrastructure plan, which focuses on social programs.
Lawmakers meet with Biden on Monday
Sen. John Hickenlooper from Colorado
Senator Angus, King of Maine
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver from Missouri
Rep. Charlie Crist from Florida
Rep. Norma Torres from California
Sen. Mitt Romney from Utah
Sen. John Hoeven from North Dakota
Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida
Rep. Kay Granger from Texas
The 10 lawmakers that Biden met are all former governors or mayors. The president has touted his support from Republican mayors and governors to paint his proposals as bipartisan, even as his US bailout package failed to garner a single GOP vote on Capitol Hill.
The White House praised the meeting, saying that the group of “former state and local elected officials understands firsthand the impact of a federal investment in rebuilding our country’s infrastructure on their communities.”
Biden faces an uphill battle over his sprawling infrastructure plan, which goes beyond traditional road and bridge projects to include housing, childcare and the environment.
Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed their views on the proposal, which is currently being drafted on Capitol Hill.
Monday’s meeting marks the second time in the past two weeks that Biden has hosted a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Last week, he met eight lawmakers for nearly two hours.
Among the group of 10 lawmakers sitting with the president is Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who himself has an infrastructure proposal to counter Biden’s.
He and the president have been talking about it, Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill last week.
Republican law is aiming for a smaller infrastructure deal – in the $ 600 billion to $ 800 billion range.
It would focus on traditional infrastructure items, and some Democrats see that as a first step toward a bigger deal.
Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a close ally of Biden, said on Fox News Sunday that the Senate should “ come together in a two-pronged way to pass that $ 800 billion in harsh infrastructure bill ” and then tackle a second package that would contain additional items the president proposes.
President Joe Biden will host Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Oval Office as he tries to sell them on his $ 2 trillion infrastructure package
Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah and Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire among 10 lawmakers meeting with President Biden on Monday
Meanwhile, the pursuit of the White House continues.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain will host leaders of the moderate House Democratic Blue Dog Coalition on Tuesday and key members of the New Democrat Coalition on Wednesday, a White House official said. CNN
Vice President Kamala Harris is in North Carolina on Monday to sell the plan, and other cabinet officials are also taking the road.
Republicans have criticized Biden’s plan for being too big and beyond traditional infrastructure. Some moderate Democrats have expressed similar concerns.
Biden has defended his plan, saying that all items contribute to the country’s greater infrastructure.
But he has also been criticized from his left wing, who wanted him to get even bigger.
The White House is working to soften progressives by talking about the American Families Plan, a second part of the infrastructure initiative to be released this month that focuses on social programs, including the child discount.
But most Republicans strongly oppose the social programs, and liberals are concerned that a smaller first-round package passed with bipartisan support could destroy the second-round proposal.
To pay for his American Families Plan, Biden weighs a new set of tax increases on the wealthy, people familiar with the narrated discussions Politics
The new taxes come after the government last month proposed a series of taxes for businesses to pay for the $ 1.9 trillion COVID aid package. Some of those funds could afford the first round of infrastructure funding, but the way to cover the costs is still being worked out while legislation is developing.
But a presidential proposal for a tax on the rich will likely be much more controversial on Capitol Hill than his attempt to increase corporate taxes.
Vice President Kamala Harris is leaving for North Carolina on Monday to sell President Biden’s infrastructure plan
Republicans are pushing back hard on Biden’s plan to increase taxes – both for businesses and for high net wages.
And some Democrats from valuable territories – such as New York, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley – may object to the president’s plan to impose taxes on their constituents.
Biden has pledged to only levy taxes on households earning more than $ 400,000. But the administration has not been clear whether that limit applies to individual income or to the combined household – a distinction that makes a big difference, especially in East and West Coast areas where the cost of living is high.
One idea the government is considering is to scale back Donald Trump’s tax cut and bring the top marginal tax rate back to 39.6 percent, where it was before the 2017 tax cut.