Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters in his home state Monday that he does not expect any of his fellow Republicans to support what he called a $4.1 trillion “grab bag” of tax increases and spending proposed by President Biden.
“If they can’t get all their ducks in a row, to use reconciliation again they’ll have to have every single Democrat in the Senate, all of them, in line, in lockstep, in order to do that. A number of them are saying they agree with us,” McConnell explained, according to Fox News.
“I think it’s worth talking about, but I don’t think there’ll be any Republican senators, none, zero, for the $4.1 trillion grab bag, which has infrastructure in it, but a whole lot of other stuff.”
Biden’s plan is split into two legislative proposals: the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, and the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan.
The latter proposal calls for government investments in transportation infrastructure, electric grids and water systems, as well as the building, preservation or retrofitting of more than two million homes and commercial buildings to be more energy efficient.
Congressional Republicans have countered with a $568 billion package more narrowly focused on transportation infrastructure.
McConnell said Monday that Republicans were open to discussing a bill of that size and scope along with “how to pay for that in any way other than reopening the 2017 tax reform bill, which I believe – and all of my members believe – is what created, as of February 2020, the best economy in 50 years.”
One prominent Senate Democrat who has balked at the cost of the legislation is Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who told reporters from his home state last week that he was “looking for a traditional infrastructure bill.”
“I don’t think that we should have a $2.3 trillion bill with all different subject matters in it,” he said Friday.
“Whether it’s $500 billion or $600 billion … or $1 trillion, we have to pay for it, and we have to make sure that we don’t continue to add on to this crippling debt and pass it on to future generations.”
Last month, Manchin told a West Virginia radio station he opposed raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% to pay for the legislation, though he added he was willing to see the rate go as high as 25%.
In March, Democrats used reconciliation — a parliamentary procedure that allows the passage of up to three budgetary bills per year by a simple majority — to pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Last month, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that the procedure can be used for a second time this fiscal year if the legislation is presented as a budget revision.
None of that will matter, however, if Senate Republicans stand firm against the legislation and the Democrats can’t get Manchin onside.
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