Reported by BRIANNA LYMAN, REPORTER | May 27, 2021
Senate Republicans introduced a counteroffer worth $928 billion Thursday morning to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill. Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said the focus of the infrastructure bill should be on “actual infrastructure,” while speaking at a press conference Thursday morning. The offer cuts back on Biden’s infrastructure plan by focusing largely on roads, bridges, public transit, ports and waterways, according to Fox News. Under the proposal, $506 billion would go toward roads and bridges, $98 billion for public transit systems, $46 billion for rails and $56 billion for airports, while the rest of the funds would be dispersed among other infrastructure sectors, according to the report.
“We can reach an agreement if we focus on those items,” Toomey said.
“We believe that this counteroffer delivers on what President Biden told us in the Oval Office that day and that is to try to reach somewhere near a trillion dollars over an eight year period of time that would include our baseline spending,” Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said Thursday morning.
“We have achieved that goal with this counteroffer. But we’ve also done something, I think that has stayed true to what our beliefs are… and that is, sticking to core, physical infrastructure.”
Republicans originally introduced a $568 billion infrastructure proposal in April which didn’t gain traction, according to NPR. Toomey also said the new proposal would not change the 2017 tax cuts that lowered the corporate tax rate to 21% after Biden proposed raising it to 28% to pay for his plan.
Biden’s proposal, which originally cost more than $2 trillion, is primarily funded by raising the corporate tax rate. The “American Jobs Plan” covers four large sectors, such as transportation infrastructure like roads, bridges and rails, modernizing public utilities like water and electricity, investing in care infrastructure for families, disabled and elderly Americans and providing incentives for clean energy products.
The Biden administration recently announced it would lower its proposed infrastructure bill spending to $1.7 trillion in an effort toward bipartisanship.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Thursday morning on MSNBC she doesn’t “really think this is a serious counteroffer.”
Warren also said she’s “not hearing about the ‘green infrastructure.’”
Biden’s proposal has received little support among Republicans, who have claimed the bill abused the term “infrastructure” to include more progressive policies. Democrats, however, could use budget reconciliation to pass the bill, which allows a simple majority vote rather than 60 votes to override a filibuster.
Capito said reconciliation would be “destructive” and “doesn’t serve the American public.”