Tuesday, July 27

Advisors will bring Biden employment and infrastructure proposal

(CNN) — White House advisers are expected to present President Joe Biden with a two-part $ 3 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal very soon, according to two people familiar with the plan.

The proposal, which Biden’s top advisers have been deliberating on for weeks, would be divided into two separate parts: one focused on infrastructure and clean energy, and a second focused on what is called the ‘care economy’ with an approach focused on key national economic issues.

In its entirety, it would mark a radical move toward enacting key elements of the “jobs” agenda that Biden introduced in large part during his presidential campaign, with a host of possible tax increases on corporations and the wealthy such as options to finance any longer-term expenses in the final proposal.

The proposal was first reported by The New York Times.

White House officials emphasized that at this time no final decisions have been made on the final way forward. Biden has yet to review the proposals and plans to consult in depth with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the scale and legislative sequence of the next key pillar of his agenda. .

“President Biden and his team are considering a range of potential options on how to invest in working families and reform our tax code so that it rewards work, not wealth,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “Those talks are ongoing, so any speculation about future economic proposals is premature and not reflective of the White House’s thinking.”

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Jobs and infrastructure, part of Biden’s next big issue

But submitting proposals directly to Biden represents a crucial next step as the White House moves to set the scale for its next major item on the legislative agenda.

The president promised to divide the main points of his economic agenda into two parts: a “rescue” plan, which became law this month, and a “recovery” plan, which he intended to use for a comprehensive package. jobs with a heavy emphasis on infrastructure.

However, Biden and his top advisers kept their focus on the $ 1.9 trillion covid-19 bailout plan, slowing down the process in the next stage of the agenda, as they sought to secure its approval and then spend several weeks. promoting its key elements to the American public.

Up to this point, recommendations for the next phase have yet to make it to Biden’s desk, officials say, though they likely will over the course of the next week, as the White House is also working on Biden’s speech before Congress at some point, probably in April.

Also on Monday, Psaki declined to confirm the $ 3 trillion number, but confirmed that Biden will meet with top economic advisers this week, adding that no final decisions have been made regarding the size or scope of a proposal.

“You are briefed this week on possible plans,” said Psaki. “We will have to see what his reaction is.”

The infrastructure proposal would focus heavily on money for roads, bridges and rails, and would include hundreds of billions in spending for climate-related measures, as well as climate-related research and development. It would also include $ 100 billion for educational infrastructure.

The national economy portion of the plan would include key Biden campaign priorities such as universal pre-kindergarten, significant spending on child care, care, and proposals designed to try and address the parts of the workforce most affected by the pandemic economy. .

Biden will seek support from both parties

Biden plans to seek bipartisan support, according to his advisers. He has already held several bipartisan meetings in the Oval Office on the subject. During a meeting with union leaders in the Oval Office in February, Biden repeatedly emphasized that he thought there was a path for bipartisanship on the issue, according to an adviser.

But officials also plan for Congressional Democrats to act concurrently with a budget procedure that would allow any package to pass with a simple majority in the US Senate.

In a roughly 30-minute conference call with Senate Democrats Monday night, Biden said his hope is that Republicans will join his efforts in the next phase of his economic agenda, but made it clear that he wants that in the previous months his party remained unified while pushing for important proposals in the country, said a Democratic source familiar with the call.

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Biden also urged Democrats to be prepared to go beyond what they have already done and argued that they should not relax their agenda despite the approval of the massive $ 1.9 trillion aid plan, adding that his agenda “Rebuild Better” is an upcoming focus for your administration.

While infrastructure has long been a front-line bipartisan area of ​​agreement, Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue have made it clear that raising taxes for the wealthy and corporations are likely avenues to fund long-term spending. of the proposal.

While Biden has said what he planned to do in terms of policy during the campaign, and any tax increases will likely be removed from the menu of options Biden presented before he took office, officials say, the possibility has already drawn in the ire of leading Republicans.

“We are hearing that the next few months could bring a so-called infrastructure proposal that could actually be a Trojan horse for massive tax increases and other left-wing policies that destroy jobs,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

It’s something Democrats are keenly aware of, and it has fueled debates both on Capitol Hill and within the West Wing about how to structure the legislative push. In the coming weeks, Biden is expected to give his opinion on this, while also staying in close contact with Schumer and Pelosi, officials say.

While planning remains fluid, officials are thinking that Biden’s April speech to Congress is likely to be the time when key thematic elements of the package are clarified.


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