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Biden and McConnell are hardening their positions on tax increases

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tightened their positions Monday on tax increases for millionaires and corporations that Biden has proposed to fund his extensive infrastructure and education program.

“We’re ready to make a package of about $ 600 billion that deals with what we all agree is infrastructure,” McConnell said at an event in Kentucky. “And talk about how to pay for it in any other way than to reopen the 201

7 tax reform bill.”

The increase in the corporate tax rate to 28%, from 21%, is due to Biden’s proposal to pay for the US employment plan, a massive reconstruction of the national infrastructure and energy sector that would create jobs after the coronavirus pandemic.

But on Monday, McConnell called tax cuts in 2017 one of the most significant domestic achievements in the last four years under former President Donald Trump. “We will not reconsider this,” he said.

McConnell’s insistence on protecting tax breaks in 2017 is effectively pouring cold water with the best chance the White House and Republicans in Congress will reach a deal on at least part of Biden’s broad domestic agenda.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any Republican support, not one, zero for the $ 4.1 trillion grab bag that has infrastructure, but a lot of other things,” McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives to speak after lunch at the Republican Political Party on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 13, 2021.

Joshua Roberts Reuters

But it wasn’t just McConnell who drew a line in the sand on Monday.

Biden also did so during a visit to a college in Norfolk, Virginia, where he highlighted the proposed expansion of preschool and college scholarships, part of his plan for American families to expand the social safety net.

This $ 1.8 trillion plan will be paid for largely through changes in individual tax laws, including higher income tax rates for the very wealthy and stricter enforcement by the IRS.

“I come from the corporate capital of the world,” said Biden, who comes from the Delaware Accession Center. “I’m not anti-corporate, but it’s time for them to start paying their fair share,” he said. “It’s a matter of choice.”

“I don’t want to punish anyone, but everyone has to chip in, everyone has to pay something along the way here. The choice is who the economy serves, so I plan to give tax breaks to working people and get everyone to pay their fair share. “the president said.

In addition to returning to pre-2017 income tax rates, Biden proposes to expand the IRS’s ability to verify individual income, tax capital gains on death, and increase the capital gains tax rate to nearly 40%, which would be in line with the individual income tax rate.

Biden was careful not to desecrate the rich in person on Monday, saying, “They are good people, not bad people.”

But the president has also made it clear that he sees these tax increases as more than a necessary evil to fund his big plans: They are a key part of restoring a sense of shared responsibility and shared burden in the US economy.

“We have had an economy for too long that gives every vacation in the world to the people who need it the least,” he said. “It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and from the middle.”

Despite McConnell’s hard line, White House officials plan to spend extra time this week lobbying key Republicans in Congress to support infrastructure repairs.

Biden also plans to host McConnell, House Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at the White House on May 12 for a broader discussion of shared priorities.

But Democrats in and around the White House acknowledge that Biden has a narrow window of time to pass on most of his domestic agenda, and they are wary of spending too much time courting Republicans for votes they can. never to be realized.

Democratic political veterans from Biden’s orbit also recall the extensive contact with former President Barack Obama with Republicans in 2009 in support of the Affordable Care Act. Despite months of effort, Obama’s signing legislation ultimately failed to garner any CSO votes.

According to Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., A close ally of Biden, there is an unofficial deadline until May 31 for the White House and Republicans in Congress to reach a consensus, if at all possible.

“I believe President Biden is open to spending next month negotiating what the opportunity is,” Koons told Punchbowl News in an interview last month.

If no deal was reached by Remembrance Day, Koons said, “I think the Democrats are just wrapping it up in a big package and moving it.”

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