President Joe Biden will tackle Republican criticism of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan in a speech Wednesday, where he will defend his proposal going beyond bridges to include money for housing, unions, and a climate corps.
His speech comes as his Treasury Department unveiled its plan to overhaul the corporate tax code, which, if enacted, would raise $2.5 trillion in revenue over 15 years to pay for the infrastructure package.
Biden’s proposed tax plan would:
- Hike the corporate tax rate in the US to 28 percent from 21 percent, which would partially undo the Trump administration’s cut from 35 percent in its 2017 tax bill.
- Double the de facto global minimum tax to 21 percent and toughening its requirements
- Additionally, American officials are working with the G20 nations to enact a minimum global corporate income tax as part of the administration’s effort to offset any disadvantages from their plan to increase the U.S. corporate tax rate
- Enact a 15 percent minimum tax on book income of large companies that report high profits, but have little taxable income (book income is what businesses report to investors and which is often used to judge shareholder and executive payouts – this tax would only affect about 45 companies)
- Replace flawed incentives that reward excess profits from intangible assets with more generous incentives for new research and development
- Replace fossil fuel subsidies with incentives for clean energy production
- Ramp up enforcement to address corporate tax avoidance
The administration argues the tax plan is necessary and its goal ‘is to make American companies and workers more competitive by eliminating incentives to offshore investment, substantially reducing profit shifting, countering tax competition on corporate rates, and providing tax preferences for clean energy production.’
But corporate America is not convinced.
The Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have pushed back against Biden’s tax hikes, claiming they will crush American competitiveness – an argument Republicans and some moderate Democrats have echoed.
President Joe Biden will tackle Republican criticism of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan in a speech Wednesday
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo joined the daily White House press briefing on Wednesday to argue ‘the fact of the matter is the corporate structure, today is broken.’
‘Many, many companies – large profitable companies – pay no corporate taxes. So I’d like to think we can all agree that it needs to be improved, level the playing field, close the loopholes and have a have a discussion around how we do this together to improve competitiveness,’ she said.
She dismissed criticism that the plan would kill American jobs.
‘We must make these investments in infrastructure in order to compete,’ she said.
Biden will look to counter the criticism and promote his plan as a jobs booster in his remarks later Wednesday.
The president ‘talk about what infrastructure means in the 21st century and why it’s extends far beyond just roads and bridges,’ a White House official told DailyMail.com.
Republicans have criticized the president’s plan for containing items outside the scope of traditional infrastructure. Biden’s plan spends billions on roads, bridges and highways but it also funds additional projects such as broadband internet across the nation, affordable housing, improvements to schools and day care centers, and a Civilian Climate Corps.
The White House argues these items are tied into the nation’s infrastructure.
‘He’ll forcefully refute the notion that investments in our electrical grid, in clean water, in high-speed internet, are anything less than essential infrastructure if we want to create good-paying jobs, successfully compete with China, and ensure prosperity is shared with communities that previously have been left out,’ the White House official said.
In his remarks on Wednesday afternoon, Biden will also ‘call on Congress to set aside partisanship to work with him on finding a path forward’ on the infrastructure package.
With Democrats in control on Capitol Hill by tight margins, the president can’t afford to lose any votes among his own party.
And some liberal Democrats have argued Biden’s plan is too small.
Meanwhile, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has referred to Biden’s plan as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for issues Democrats want to advance. Other Republicans have argued a stream-lined, traditional infrastructure package could pass with bipartisan support.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the current corporate tax structure is ‘broken’ and needs to be fixed
And Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said he told the White House if they want bipartisan support on an infrastructure plan, it needs to have just infrastructure.
‘I think it’s a big mistake for the administration. They know I think it’s a mistake,’ Blunt said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘And I also think it would be an easy victory if we go back and look at roads and bridges and ports and airports and maybe even underground water systems and broadband. You’d still be talking about less than 30 percent of this entire package and it’s an easily doable 30 percent.’
‘The other 70 or so percent of the package that doesn’t have very much too do with infrastructure,’ he noted on ABC’s ‘This Week.’
A CNN analysis found that traditional infrastructure projects account for 30 per cent of Biden’s plan.
Biden’s plan includes $621 billion for transportation, $400 billion for homecare service, $300 billion for manufacturing and $180 billion for research and development, according to a White House fact sheet.
- $115 billion to modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets that are in most critical need of repair – including 20,000 miles of highway and 10,000 small bridges
- $20 billion to improve road safety for all users
- $85 billion to modernize existing transit and help agencies expand their systems to meet rider demand
- $80 billion for Amtrak repairs
- $174 billion investment in electric vehicles
- $25 billion in our airports
- $50 billion to safeguard critical infrastructure
- $17 billion in inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries
- $111 billion to replace lead pipes and service lines and to modernize drinking water and sewer systems
- $100 billion to protect nature-based infrastructure – lands, forests, wetlands, watersheds, and coastal and ocean resource; to build up electrical system; expand tax credits for clean energy generation and storage; plug orphan oil wells and mines; and redevelop Superfund sites
- $40 billion to improve the infrastructure of the public housing system in America
- $100 billion to upgrade and build new public schools
- $12 billion for community colleges
- $25 billion to help upgrade child care facilities
- $10 billion in the modernization, sustainability, and resilience of federal buildings
- $400 billion toward expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities
- $35 billion investment in climate science
- $10 billion for a new Civilian Climate Corps
- $100 billion in workforce development programs, including a call for Congress to ensure all workers have a free and fair choice to join a union by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act
- $300 billion for manufacturing
- $180 billion for research and development