Biden Meets With Bipartisan Group to Push for Infrastructure Plan

The White House from Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House in Washington, on April 7, 2021.

The White House from Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House in Washington, on April 7, 2021. Tom Brenner/Pool via AP

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

The president gathered with eight congressional lawmakers, as his administration advocates for a roughly $2 trillion proposal focused on public works and other domestic priorities.

President Biden met Monday at the White House with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss his roughly $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package. The proposal is a pillar of the president's domestic agenda and could send billions of federal dollars gushing toward states and localities across the U.S. to help pay for public works and other costs. But Republicans have so far objected to the plan.

Biden, speaking to reporters at the top of the meeting, emphasized again, as he did last week, that he is willing to negotiate about the "extent" of the package and how to pay for it. Republicans have criticized the proposal as too costly and too sprawling, pointing to its focus on areas unrelated to more traditional steel and concrete public works, like roads and bridges. GOP lawmakers and some business leaders have also staked out opposition to Biden’s idea of funding the package by raising corporate taxes.

"It's going to get down to what we call infrastructure," Biden said, pointing to the replacement of lead water pipes as an example of an area where he believes new federal investments are required. "I think that's infrastructure," he said. "I think broadband is infrastructure. It's not just roads, bridges, highways."

But, over on Capitol Hill on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell kept up his opposition to Biden's plan.

"Under the supposed veil of ‘infrastructure’, the White House has lumped together a motley assortment of the left’s priciest priorities," he said, speaking on the Senate floor.

McConnell criticized the plan for its tax increases, for proposed spending on "the far-left’s ‘green’ fads" and for elements focused on growing the nation's union workforce. "It’s not remotely targeted toward what Americans think they’re getting when politicians campaign on infrastructure," McConnell added.

Biden's plan calls for about $2.25 trillion in spending over the next decade.

Of that total, $621 billion would go to transportation—including $174 billion to boost the number of electric vehicles on the nation's roadways. About $590 billion would go to manufacturing, research and development and job training initiatives, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Another large cost would be $400 billion to expand care for people who are aging or who have disabilities. There's also proposed spending on areas like housing, schools, the electric grid, water systems and broadband.

To pay for the plan, Biden has proposed raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and changing the tax code to collect more from companies’ overseas earnings.

Those attending Monday’s meeting included Sen. Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Sen. Roger Wicker, of Mississippi, who is the panel’s top Republican.

Rep. Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican, and Rep. Donald Payne Jr., a New Jersey Democrat, who both serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, were also on hand.

Others who met with Biden included: Sen. Deb Fischer, a Nebraska Republican who serves on the Senate Commerce Committee; Sen. Alex Padilla, a California Democrat who sits on Environment and Public Works; Rep. David Price, a North Carolina Democrat who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees transportation and housing programs; and Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican, and former House Transportation and Infrastructure chair.

Congress returned this week to Capitol Hill after a two-week recess. The White House, meanwhile, has been ramping up its advocacy and outreach efforts to build support for the infrastructure package. On Monday it also released a set of state-by-state fact sheets meant to highlight the “urgent need in every state across the country” for the proposed investments.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded by pushing back when asked during a press briefing Monday about skepticism among some Republicans that Biden is being genuine when he says he's willing to negotiate across the aisle to come up with a deal.

"You don't use the President of the United States’ time multiple times over, including two infrastructure meetings—bipartisan infrastructure meetings he's already had—or the meeting today, if he did not want to authentically hear from the members attending about their ideas about how to move forward this package in a bipartisan manner," she said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional comment.

Bill Lucia is a senior editor for Route Fifty and is based in Olympia, Washington.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
Integrating Complete and Green Streets for Climate-Resilient Sustainable Streets
San Mateo County, CA, USA
Major improvements in Service issue resolution at St. Catharines Transit
2012 First Street Louth, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3V9, Canada
Quick Launch of Ferry Reservation System Provides Access for Point Roberts Residents During COVID-19
Bellingham, WA, USA

NEXT STORY: Water Being Pumped Into Tampa Bay Could Cause a Massive Algae Bloom, Putting Fragile Manatee and Fish Habitats at Risk

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.