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Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) Said Thursday that his party would give the GOP about 10 days before taking steps to adopt a package using budget reconciliation, an obscure process that allows certain spending bills to be made circumvent the Senate’s 60-vote requirement. Cardin described the Democratic strategy as “going as far as possible with the Republicans and not hesitating”.[ing] it beyond this working period without seeing anything. “
“It is very possible that at any moment the Republicans will say, ‘Wait a minute, either do it our way or nothing,” Cardin said of the current fragile state of the talks. “It is also possible for Democrats to say, ‘You do it our way, or if you don’t, we do it ourselves.’ I hope that is not the case. “
Republicans are skeptical as to whether they can muster the willingness to significantly increase their current offer of around 250 billion US dollars in new money via the current spending on roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Biden wants at least $ 1 trillion above current levels – a concession from his original proposal of more than $ 2 trillion in new infrastructure spending, but a pitch Republicans still see as a “major setback” in the negotiations, said a GOP source.
During a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, Biden made a new offer to Capito on how the package could be paid for. Instead of raising corporate tax rates from 21 percent to 28 percent, Biden suggested that negotiators could introduce a new corporate version of the 15 percent alternative minimum tax.
The White House designed this new pitch to avoid the GOP insisting on not touching the 2017 tax cuts signed by then-President Donald Trump. His idea would raise money by tracking companies that have used various means to reduce their overall tax burden and effectively impose new taxes on those companies.
News of the offer was first reported by the Washington Post. A source familiar with the discussions confirmed the offer, but said that with Capito, Biden has not taken higher corporate taxes off the table as he has already proposed a 15 percent global corporate policy. According to this source, the president offered his previously launched plan as an alternative to paying the infrastructure bill.
“That doesn’t mean he’s his overall position in terms of that [Trump tax cuts] and wealthy taxpayers and corporations or its entire tax plans, “the source said, adding that Biden made his proposal” in the interests of getting across the gang and finding a practical deal, especially in the context of these negotiations. “
Republicans suspect that Biden is still trying to untangle part of their 2017 tax cut plan, reiterating that Biden has not completely withdrawn any attempt to change those guidelines. And the withdrawal of the Trump tax law is a “red line” in the negotiations, according to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
The negotiating group is led by Capito, who is greedy for a deal, but also staunch fiscal conservatives like Senator John Barrasso from Wyoming and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania. Conservatives have attacked a China competitiveness bill that the Senate is currently spending as too much money, leading some Democrats to believe there might not be 10 Republican votes on a large spending package anyway.
When he turns the Republicans against the Biden agenda. McConnell is watching the conversations closely. At an event in Kentucky on Thursday, he said he spoke with Capito both before and after their meeting with Biden on Wednesday.
“If we can’t reach a bipartisan agreement, I would expect the government and Democrats in Congress to push a very large package through. But that is going to be extremely controversial, ”McConnell said, referring to Biden’s tax proposals.
Meanwhile, moderate Democrats have urged Biden to speak to Republicans for as long as possible. With a slim majority in the House of Representatives and a 50-50 Senate, Democrats need full unity to move forward with any partisan approach to infrastructure.