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Biden to unveil $2 trillion, 8-year infrastructure plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said on the call that the plan would be paid for by changes to the corporate tax rate, including an effort already underway by the administration to achieve worldwide agreement on setting a global minimum corporate tax rate so that corporations could no longer pit countries against each other in search of the lowest rate.

The plan will likely have to be moved under reconciliation procedures to have any hope of passage. But even Democrats may be squeamish about the tax hikes. At one point during the briefing with Deese, House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) raised concerns that people might not spend their stimulus checks if they heard that tax increases were on the horizon, according to two GOP sources on the call.

Battle lines are already being drawn, with the bill getting early pushback from the left and the right. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted that the package is “not nearly enough” and “needs to be way bigger,” and Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming called the plan “a Trojan horse for more liberal spending & higher taxes.”

In his speech Wednesday, Biden will emphasize the need to move away from dependency on fossil fuels in order to meet Biden’s goal of zeroing out power grid emissions by 2035 and economy-wide by 2050.

That includes a massive $174 billion investment in vehicle electrification, including the installation of 500,000 new electric vehicle charging stations by 2030, according to a document viewed by POLITICO. The document says that the plan would “enable automakers to spur domestic supply chains from raw materials to parts, retool factories to compete globally, and support American workers to make batteries and EVs.”

The plan also calls for buyer rebates and incentives for electric vehicles, swapping out 50,000 diesel-powered transit vehicles and electrifying at least 20 percent of school buses, as well as the entire federal vehicle fleet. In addition, it would seek to upgrade the power grid and make it more resilient; build and maintain VA hospitals and housing; and boost job training and apprenticeships.

It also will invest in home- and community-based services to reduce backlogs for those who need access and will seek to improve wages for essential workers, most of whom are women of color — an element labor has been lobbying the administration to include.

“We think that caregiving is an essential American infrastructure,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union. “We really want to see tomorrow’s speech and the government’s investment in care as a sustainable jobs program, because it’s done by a majority women of color workforce and it’s the same population that’s lost the lion’s share of jobs during COVID.”

The infrastructure plan won’t be funded with any changes to the tax rate for individuals — only corporations — which could make it harder for Republicans to fight if…

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2021-03-30 20:42:50

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