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Biden’s ambitious $2.25 trillion jobs plan squeezed with criticism by all sides in Congress

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Biden’s ambitious $2.25 trillion jobs plan squeezed with criticism by all sides in Congress

2021-04-01 08:33:30

By K. Shalini

President Joe Biden laid out what he called a “bold” plan to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, but now needs an equally ambitious effort to wrangle it through Congress in the face of Republican opposition and criticism from within his Democratic Party.

Biden, in a speech Wednesday in Pittsburgh, invoked the great public investments of the past the transcontinental railroad, the interstate highway system and the space program to sell his idea to spend $2.25 trillion over eight years on a menu of projects, from bolstering the electrical grid to upgrading childcare facilities.

“This is not a plan that tinkers around the edges. It’s a once in a generation investment in America,” Biden said. “It’s big, yes. It’s bold, yes. And we can get it done.”

But illustrating the challenges Biden’s plan faces getting through Congress, it drew quick criticism from Republicans, who said they wanted no part of the corporate tax hikes he proposes to pay for it. Some progressive Democrats, meanwhile, said it would not spend nearly enough.

The competing pressures mean Biden’s proposal likely will have to be broken up into two or even three pieces of legislation that may ultimately differ significantly from the administration’s plan. Some parts will need Republican support to make it through the Senate, while other provisions may be put into fast-track budget bills that need only Democratic votes to pass.

Biden held out hope for bringing at least some Republicans on board.

“The divisions of the moment shouldn’t stop us from doing the right thing for the future,” he said. “We’ll have a good faith negotiation with any Republican who wants to help get this done. But we have to get it done.”

 

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