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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Biden Drops Corporate Tax Hike, Halves Proposed Infrastructure Spending in Concession to GOP

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President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an annual Memorial Day Service at Veterans Memorial Park, New Castle, Del., May 30, 2021. (Ken Cedeno/Reuters)

President Biden reportedly suggested in a private meeting on Wednesday that he is open to significantly revising the size of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, as well as how it would be funded, in order to secure Republican support.

Biden outlined a plan for roughly $1 trillion in new spending financed through tax changes that would not raise the top corporate rate during a meeting with the GOP’s top negotiator, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R., W. Va.), according to the Washington Post. The concession comes after Biden agreed to drop his initial price tag of more than $2 trillion down to $1.7 trillion early in negotiations.

Republicans, however, continue to call out the non-infrastructure spending included in the package and have repeatedly pushed for a $257 billion package that would focus exclusively on funding repairs for the nation’s ailing roads, bridges, and rails.

However, the president will still call for the tax increases — which would raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent — as part of his broader agenda, the report says.

For now, the president instead shifted focus to a provision in his infrastructure proposal which would amount to a new minimum corporate tax of 15 percent, as well as a proposal to increase enforcement on corporates and wealthy earners who use loopholes to lower their tax bills.

Republicans are set to meet with the White House again on Friday, though the Biden administration has signaled that time is running out to reach a compromise. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg previously said the administration expects to see progress in negotiations by Monday, though White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the White House is going to “keep our options open,” in terms of any self-imposed deadline.

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