President Biden appeared at the White House late Monday morning to make remarks and urge Congress to implement both halves of its economic agenda. Trillion dollar spending plans.
White House officials said Mr Biden would use the speech to campaign for the nearly $ 600 billion infrastructure deal he reached with Democratic and Republican centrists in the Senate last month. The deal is in jeopardy after Republicans turned down a key source of revenue from the original deal: stepping up enforcement efforts at the I.R.S. Catch tax fraud.
White House officials and Senate negotiators – including 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans – are working to save it by replacing a new source of income.
“We’re still negotiating,” said Ohio Republican negotiator Senator Rob Portman on Sunday in CNN’s State of the Union. “In fact, I negotiated some of the final details with the White House last night. And today we will have further negotiations with the Republicans and Democrats who have teamed up to put this bill on a very unusual track for Washington. “
Mr Biden will also use his speech to push for a second facet of his agenda that Democrats want to pursue without Republican support: a $ 3.5 trillion plan achieved through the budget balancing process that bypasses a Senate filibuster.
This plan includes most of Mr Biden’s $ 4 trillion economic agenda that is not included in the bipartisan bill, such as expanding access to education, building more affordable and energy-efficient housing, promoting low-carbon energy through tax credits and a variety of other social programs designed to invest in workers.
Mr Portman and other Republicans have criticized this spending for the past few days, claiming it would further fuel inflation for an economy that is already experiencing rapid price growth. Mr Biden is expected to reject these criticisms in his speech. His economic team has repeatedly said that the rise in inflation today is largely a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and will subside in the coming months or years.
Government officials also say the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion plan will ease pricing pressures by giving Americans the freedom to work more – through subsidized childcare, paid vacation, and other measures – and improving the efficiency of the economy .
Zach Montague Reporting contributed.