Democrats, Republicans split on infrastructure deal endangering Biden plan
Nicole Malliotakis R-New York., joins ‘The Evening Edit’ to discuss Democrats’ mixed messaging
President Biden is slated to meet with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito on Wednesday as Republicans and the White House make a last-ditch effort to strike a bipartisan infrastructure deal.
"The president is looking forward to hosting Senator Capito on Wednesday afternoon at the White House, where they will continue their bipartisan negotiations about investing in our middle class and economic growth through infrastructure," a White House spokesperson told FOX Business.
Biden and Capito, a West Virginia Republican who's leading her party's negotiations with the president, will try to settle their disputes during the White House sit-down. Talks have dragged on for more than two months as the sides remain fiercely divided on the next economic spending package – and how to pay for it.
COMPARING REPUBLICANS' $928B INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN TO BIDEN'S: WHAT'S IN EACH PROPOSAL?
The president last month laid out the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, which would rebuild roads and bridges, expand broadband service, invest billions into green energy and fighting climate change and create programs to help bolster care for elderly and disabled Americans. The measure would be funded by raising taxes on big corporations.
But Republicans oppose the size and scope of Biden's proposal, which they say is too expensive and strays too far from "traditional" infrastructure, and have resisted any effort to roll back part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. To pay for the plans, Biden has proposed raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and imposing a higher global minimum on U.S. companies' foreign earnings.
The White House offered to lower the price tag to $1.7 trillion in new funding, and a group of GOP lawmakers countered last week with a $928 billion proposal that includes just $257 billion in new funding. (The remainder is part of an existing baseline plan for investments.)
WHAT BIDEN'S CAPITAL GAINS TAX PROPOSAL COULD MEAN FOR YOUR WALLET
Despite the weeks of negotiations, there remains an ideological gulf between the two sides over what constitutes infrastructure. The GOP's plan notably does not include new spending on a wide range of areas where Biden has recommended billions, such as electric vehicles, elder care and veterans hospitals, frustrating some Democrats who want Biden to walk away from the talks.
With narrow majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats have the option to bypass Republicans and approve the measure on a party-line basis using a procedural tool known as budget reconciliation – a path that some progressives are pressuring Biden to take.
There are some signs the Biden administration is opening to acting unilaterally to pass the American Jobs Plan: On Sunday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said negotiations will continue in private this week, but he identified June 7 as an endpoint for possible deal-making.
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"I think we are getting pretty close to a fish-or-cut-bait moment," Buttigieg said during an appearance on CNN’s "State of the Union."
Fox News' Jacqui Heinrich and Patrick Ward contributed to this report
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