President Biden unveiled a massive $2.5 trillion infrastructure and jobs package this week that the president views as a “once-in-a-generation investment in America.”
Under what the White House is calling the American Jobs Plan, about $620 billion would be spent improving traditional infrastructure like roads, bridges and ports, along with high-speed Internet access. Major investments would be made to replace antiquated lead pipes and make drinking water safer and retrain workers for higher-skilled jobs. The plan also calls for spending to reduce climate change, revive U.S. manufacturing and upgrade public housing and schools.
“This is not a plan that tinkers around the edges,” Biden said in a speech in Pittsburgh yesterday. “It is a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve done since we built the Interstate Highway System and the Space Race decades ago…We have to move now. I’m convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people will look back and say, ‘This was the moment America won the future.’”
Biden said the plan would pay for itself over the next 15 years but the White House wants to offset spending now by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28 percent and by taxing some foreign income of large multinational corporations. Biden said he wants Republican buy-in on the package but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already said the plan will not get a single Senate Republican vote.
“That package that they’re putting together now, as much as we would like to address infrastructure, is not going to get support from our side,” McConnell told reporters today. “Because I think the last thing the economy needs right now is a big, whopping tax increase.”
While Senate Democrats may have to prepare to move the infrastructure package through budget reconciliation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has set an ambitious goal for the House to pass a package by July 4. Pelosi will have to convince some progressive lawmakers who have criticized the plan as too small to get on board.