- Biden unveiled the first part of his $4 trillion infrastructure plan on Wednesday.
- McConnell said the $2 trillion plan focuses on things he doesn’t consider infrastructure and pushes a liberal agenda.
- While the GOP says Biden’s plan does too much, progressives say it doesn’t do enough.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
President Joe Biden unveiled the first part of his $4 trillion infrastructure plan on Wednesday, and it contained funding for not only roads and bridges, but for investments in technology such as electric vehicles, labor and workforce development, housing and education, and more.
Calling it “a major missed opportunity,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill focuses less on physical infrastructure and more on catering to Democrats’ agendas.
-Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) March 31, 2021
On Wednesday, while some lawmakers lauded Biden’s proposal to confront big issues facing the country, like climate change and racial inequality, McConnell released a statement saying that less than 6% of the plan goes to roads and bridges, and more money is allocated to electric vehicles than roads, bridges, ports, airports, and waterways, combined.
“It contains sweeping far-left priorities like attacking blue-collar Americans’ Right to Work protections, a huge favor to Big Labor bosses,” McConnell said. “Every time that far-left dogma clashes with the interests of American families, today’s Democrats pick the dogma.”
McConnell also criticized Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion tax hike to fund the infrastructure plan and said infrastructure was being used as a “Trojan horse for the largest set of tax hikes in a generation.”
The tax hike proposed by Biden would be entirely levied against corporations, and partially reverses the Trump-era 2017 tax cut that reduced the rate from 35% to 21%, bringing it up to 28%. Biden said on Wednesday that the corporate tax rate would still be lower it was “between World War Two and 2017. Just doing that one thing will generate $1 trillion in additional revenue over 15 years.”
Republicans want to go smaller, progressives want to go bigger
McConnell’s critiques of the infrastructure plan are not new to his party. Even before the details of the plan were released, Republican lawmakers said they would not support a plan that focuses on elements beyond repairing physical infrastructure, like investments with climate change in mind, which Biden has made a core component of his infrastructure proposal since his campaign.
“Republicans won’t support another Green New Deal disguising itself as a transportation bill,” House Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves said in a statement.
But while Republican lawmakers opposed Biden’s infrastructure plans for doing too much, progressive lawmakers are saying it’s not doing enough. On Wednesday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, said that progressive prefer a “single, ambitious” infrastructure package, instead of Biden’s two-part plan.
“Given the president’s fierce resolve in passing the overwhelmingly popular American Rescue Plan earlier this month, it makes little sense to narrow his previous ambition on infrastructure or compromise with the physical realities of climate change,” Jayapal said.
Biden reiterated in his Wednesday speech his hopes that Congress come together to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and strengthen the economy.
He said thinks all Republicans in the House or Senate believe infrastructure improvements are needed. “They know China and other countries are eating our lunch. So there’s no reason why it can’t be bipartisan again. The divisions of the moment shouldn’t stop us from doing the right thing for the future.”