The Biden administration is preparing a proposal for $3 trillion in infrastructure spending. Ken Thomas and Andrew Duehren report in The Wall Street Journal:
Administration officials are crafting a plan for a multipart infrastructure and economic package that could cost as much as $3 trillion and fulfill key elements of President Biden’s campaign agenda, according to people involved in the discussions.
The first proposal would center on roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects and include many of the climate-change initiatives Mr. Biden outlined in the “Build Back Better” plan he released during the 2020 campaign.
That package would be followed by measures focusing on education and other priorities, including extending the newly expanded child tax credit scheduled to expire at the end of the year and providing for universal prekindergarten and tuition-free community college, the people said.
The packages could face a difficult path through the narrowly divided Congress, and Democrats aren’t all in agreement on how they should move forward with their spending and tax proposals. Mr. Biden is expected to be briefed on the details of the proposals this week, and the people warned that the strategy is preliminary. Mr. Biden would need to sign off on the legislative strategy for it to move forward.
Some details of the strategy under consideration were reported earlier by the New York Times.
The White House declined to elaborate on the proposals under consideration.
“Those conversations are ongoing, so any speculation about future economic proposals is premature and not a reflection of the White House’s thinking,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
The price tag of the next package is sure to draw objections from Republicans, who opposed the recently signed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law as too costly.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), speaking on the Senate floor Monday, panned the idea of including other Democratic priorities in an infrastructure package.
“We’re hearing the next few months might bring a so-called ‘infrastructure’ proposal that may actually be a Trojan horse for massive tax hikes and other job-killing left-wing policies,” he said.
Senior administration officials have discussed raising taxes on companies, among other options, to offset the cost of the spending packages. If the proposals add up to $3 trillion over a decade, that would represent 1% of GDP and a 5% increase in federal spending beyond current projections.
Democrats are also exploring raising the top marginal income-tax rate for high-income individuals, increasing capital-gains taxes and tightening international tax rules on companies, according to lawmakers and aides. Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is expected to detail more international-tax proposals soon.
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