Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Biden, centrist lawmakers reach infrastructure deal

WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden and a group of centrist Republican and Democratic senators said Wednesday they had reached agreement on a new US infrastructure spending package after weeks of what to include and how to pay for it. Go.

The White House announced that the nearly $1 trillion package, which includes $550 billion in new allocations, would add about 2 million jobs to the US economy every year for a decade. Many of them will be under construction to repair the country’s deteriorating roads and bridges, build new broadband connections in rural areas of America, and improve transit and water infrastructure.

The US Senate could begin debating the package on Wednesday evening, although it could be weeks away from the final passage of the measure.

The White House said the package, one of Biden’s biggest legislative priorities, “will grow the economy, enhance our competitiveness, create good jobs and make our economy more sustainable, resilient and equitable.”

While Biden reached a basic agreement a month ago with five Republican and five Democratic centrist lawmakers, lawmakers and White House negotiators sparred over how much to spend on specific types of infrastructure.

Republican Senators Rob Portman, center, from left, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney announce a deal with Democrats on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill at the Capitol in Washington, July 28, 2021.

According to the White House, the deal includes the largest ever federal investment in public transportation of $39 billion to upgrade and expand rail and bus systems, as well as the largest ever for passenger rail service since the construction of existing Amtrak. The biggest expense is involved. Passenger rail system in 1971.

The spending plan calls for significant spending for improvements to bridges, clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, high-speed Internet for all Americans, electric vehicle charging stations, and the nation’s electric grid.

“We now have an agreement on key issues,” said Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the key Republican negotiator with Democrats. “We are ready to move on.”

Biden gave his approval while visiting a truck plant in Pennsylvania. “I feel confident about it,” he said.

Biden, six months into his four-year presidency, sees the infrastructure package as particularly important to show voters that bipartisan deals can be worked out in politically corrupt Washington.

Portman said the package would be “more than paid for,” though the White House was vague in describing the funding.

The White House said the deal would generate “significant economic benefits.” It said the package would be paid to “redirect unspent emergency relief funds, target corporate user fees, strengthen tax enforcement when it comes to cryptocurrencies, and other bipartisan measures, as well as revenue generated from higher economic growth.” As a result of investment.”

Now, Biden plans to proceed entirely, without the votes of Democratic lawmakers and Republican support, for a more ambitious $3.5 trillion human infrastructure package that focuses on child care, tax breaks and health care that can make up nearly half of American life. Touches every aspect.

It would be paid for by raising the nation’s corporate tax rate and taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 annually, both of which Republicans oppose.

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Biden, centrist lawmakers reach infrastructure deal
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