WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden released a comprehensive $ 2.3 trillion job bill in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, which includes $ 621 billion for infrastructure projects, the highway and bullet train proposals for Nevada, and an Amtrak link between Las Vegas and Los Angeles could include.
It would also improve broadband access and provide better wages and benefits for home care workers.
Biden is asking Congress to approve the bill – which will be funded by increasing corporate tax from 21 percent to 28 percent – but is likely to face opposition from Republican leaders who approved a corporate tax cut four years ago.
“Now is the time to rebuild,” Biden said at a press conference in Pittsburgh, the city where he announced his 2019 presidential campaign and a working class city that has been badly hit by recent economic downturns.
The president said his proposal would create millions of high-paying jobs and reward work rather than wealth, which Biden said was the case with the 2017 Republican tax cut.
He said nearly 100 large companies paid nothing in federal taxes. In addition to increasing the tax rate, it would also create incentives to keep plants in the United States and penalize companies that send jobs overseas.
The tax code would also be updated to prevent companies from merging with a foreign company and avoiding taxes by relocating their headquarters to a tax haven. And, among other things, this would increase IRS audits on companies.
Meanwhile, Biden said his plan would invest in America to make it more globally competitive and improve the lives of working families.
Biden compared his proposal to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which developed programs to help America emerge from the Great Depression.
“It’s not a plan that tinkers with the edges,” Biden said. “It’s a one-time investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since the highway system and space race were built decades ago. In fact, it is America’s largest investment in employment since World War II. It will create millions of jobs, well-paying jobs. “
The Democratic leaders approved Biden’s plan on Wednesday. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York also said it would create millions of jobs.
“I look forward to working with President Biden to adopt a great, bold plan that will propel America forward for decades to come,” Schumer said at an event in Buffalo.
In Kentucky, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell called the Biden jobs bill a “Trojan horse,” which would levy taxes not only on companies but also on Americans who received a tax cut under former President Donald Trump.
McConnell’s comments signaled an uphill battle in the Senate.
However, the legislature has chosen to invest in infrastructure as states and cities grapple with the repair and reconstruction of structures that require federal assistance.
Projects in Nevada that could see federal spending soar include Interstate 11 from Las Vegas to Phoenix, projects to reduce congestion on Interstate 15, and the proposed Brightline West high-speed rail link between Las Vegas and Southern California.
Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., A senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, referred to the bill for potential funding of local projects that will help keep Las Vegas an international tourist destination for decades to come and entertainment remains. ”
Titus said she would use her leadership position on the committee to ensure that “our community gets the resources we need”.
“The entire proposal is paid for in full by reversing the corporate tax cuts enacted by the previous government,” added Titus. The committee could propose legislation with specific project funding by May.
Also on Thursday, Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said the Biden package includes $ 80 billion for the rail and that Amtrak plans to create 30 new routes, including one from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
In total, Amtrak would expand service to 160 communities, including Las Vegas, Phoenix, Columbus, Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee.
Broadband for rural areas
Nevada Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, both Democrats, have urged Congress to expand broadband access to rural areas of the state to improve access to education and telemedicine.
Biden’s bill includes $ 111 billion to provide nationwide broadband access and another $ 100 billion to upgrade the power grid, which is in dire need of repair to prevent neighborhoods from losing power if a mast or transformer fails.
However, Republicans cited the proposal as a guide for some working groups seeking home care wages and benefits and for liberal groups seeking climate change initiatives.
“The Tax and Spending Democrats are back. The plan that President Biden unveiled today is a runaway socialist shopping spree, ”said Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., The senior member of the House Small Business Committee, said the tax hike to pay the massive bill would be felt by every American worker.
Lütkemeyer said the proposal would also raise taxes and “hurt nearly 1 million coast-to-coast small businesses”.
Biden called for a GOP contribution and discussion to get the bill through the 50:50 Senate. Without Republican support, Democrats would have to use the budget vote process, which allows them to pass the legislation by simple majority and avoid filibuster.
Taxes in question
Overall, Democrats welcomed the proposal as a long-term economic plan for the country that picks up where the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package leaves and would create millions of jobs to fuel economic growth over the next 15 years to advance.
The US Chamber of Commerce backed the infrastructure improvement proposal, but criticized Biden for raising taxes.
And Northeastern Democratic lawmakers have called for changes in tax legislation to restore state and local tax deductions capped at $ 10,000 by the Trump-era cuts, a cap that disproportionately affected blue states.
The cap increased federal income taxes for middle-class residents in states with high property values and local taxes.
In the meantime, Biden is expected to come up with additional proposals and tax measures in the coming weeks.
In his speech in Pittsburgh, he focused on projects to modernize schools, replace lead pipes, and retrofit homes and businesses to reduce the impact on the climate and ensure clean water for residents.
It was endorsed by the US Mayors’ Conference as a blueprint to “create a safe, sustainable, and just future for all Americans”.
Contact Gary Martin at [email protected] Contact @garymartindc on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this story.