Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) asks questions during a joint Senate hearing on homeland security and government affairs, and Senate rules and administration, related to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC, to discuss.
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Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt on Sunday called on the Biden government to cut its $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan to around $ 615 billion and focus on rebuilding physical infrastructure like roads and bridges.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Blunt – the fourth-largest Republican in the Senate – argued that only 30% of the president’s proposal focuses on traditional infrastructure, saying that a price cut would allow the White House to pass the bill through both houses to direct from Congress.
“I think there’s an easy win here for the White House if they got that win, which makes this an infrastructure package that’s about 30% – even if you expand the definition of infrastructure a little – it’s about 30% of the $ 2.25 trillion we’re talking about spending, “said Blunt.
“If we were to look at roads and bridges, ports and airports, and maybe even underground water systems and broadband, you would still be talking about less than 30% of that entire package,” he added.
“I think 30% is about $ 615 billion,” said Blunt. “I think you can do that and with some innovative things like looking at how we’re going to deal with the use of the freeway system by electric vehicles, what we can do with public-private partnerships.”
The comments from the top Republicans follow Biden’s launch of the infrastructure package last week, which focused on rebuilding roads, bridges and airports, expanding broadband access and tackling climate change by increasing the use of electric vehicles and upgrading the power grid of the country concentrated. The proposal also envisages an increase in the corporate tax rate to 28% to offset expenses.
Biden has said he wants bipartisan support for the plan, but the odds are slim. Republicans have strongly opposed tax hikes, arguing that they could hamper economic recovery. Republicans also criticized the package for including initiatives that go beyond traditional infrastructure problems.
Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said last week that the $ 2 trillion package would not receive Republican support and vowed to defy the broader Democratic agenda.
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“I will fight them at every step because I think this is the wrong recipe for America,” McConnell said at a press conference Thursday.
Democrats would have to use the budget vote process to get the bill through on their own unless the White House amends the proposal to please Republicans or 10 Senate Republicans break with McConnell.
The Biden administration passed the $ 1.9 pandemic relief package in March without a Republican vote through budget vote and could take a similar approach with infrastructure.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Sunday she hoped the proposal would be adopted with bilateral support, but added that Biden was ready to take advantage of Republican-free reconciliation.
“So much of this includes priorities that Republicans backed and I hope that Democrats and Republicans can vote ‘yes’ in the final vote on this package,” Granholm said during an interview on CNN.
Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said Sunday that Biden’s infrastructure plan is key to fueling job growth as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Let’s also think more long-term about where these investments that we can make not only result in more job growth, but also better job growth,” Deese said in an interview with Fox News. “Not just short-term but also long-term employment growth through investments in our infrastructure.”