After some 210 plus weeks of waiting, it’s finally here thanks to five Republicans making a deal with President Joe Biden.
Yes, Virginia, there is an Infrastructure Week!
President Biden emerged from the White House on Thursday along with a small group of ten bipartisan Republicans and Democrats and told the awaiting press “We have a deal” after a “breakthrough” between himself and the Republican Senators during extended negotiations on Wednesday.
Both GOP and Democratic senators said there was an agreement reached on a bipartisan infrastructure deal, which could pave the way for passage of a chunk of President Biden’s domestic agenda. The announcement comes just as the Senate prepares to leaves for its two-week July 4th recess and a bipartisan deal on a policing bill is also still hanging in the balance.
We’ve struck a deal. A group of senators – five Democrats and five Republicans – has come together and forged an infrastructure agreement that will create millions of American jobs.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 24, 2021
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he is still in a “listening” mode when it comes to the infrastructure deal that was just reached. “We just had a briefing with the folks who were in the with President, it was a good meeting and I’m still listening,” McConnell told reporters in the Capitol.
White House outline of bipartisan infrastructure deal. pic.twitter.com/WfKs06u3My
— Jennifer Shutt (@JenniferShutt) June 24, 2021
While many details of what it contains remain unclear, the total cost of the proposed deal announced Thursday is $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $579 billion in new spending, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House. That is far short of the $2.25 trillion plan Biden unveiled in March. That plan included money for roads, bridges, public transportation, airports, water and power systems as well as broadband improvements. It also would have made investments in caregiving for aging Americans and in workforce training — drawing criticism from many Republicans, who wanted to stick to classic infrastructure items.
Democrats say they are still planning to push some of the provisions left out of the infrastructure plan through separate legislation.
The deal appears to set aside Biden’s effort to pay for the plan by raising taxes on businesses. He had proposed hiking the corporate income tax rate to 28%, from 21%, and increasing the global minimum tax rate on US corporations to 21%, among other changes. Republicans, however, strongly opposed the idea.
A breakdown of the bipartisan infrastructure framework:
-$579 billion in new spending (Transportation infrastructure totals $312 billion, broadband infrastructure totals $65 billion)
-Paid for by reducing IRS tax gap, repurposing unused emergency relief funds
— Jack Turman III (@jackturmanIII) June 24, 2021
The deal leaves out Biden’s proposal to spend $400 billion to bolster caregiving for aging and disabled Americans, which was the second-largest measure in his original package. Also left out: $100 billion for workforce development, which would have helped dislocated workers, assisted underserved groups, and put students on career paths before they graduate high school.
Watch President Biden’s full announcement to the press, below.