Biden advisers make plans for $ 3 billion in new spending

Joe Biden is set to consider a plan from his top advisers to invest around $ 3 billion in additional government spending into the U.S. economy for investments in infrastructure, clean energy and education, said Monday two people familiar with the case.

Additional fiscal support for the US recovery would closely follow Biden’s promises in the 2020 presidential election to address some of the major structural deficiencies plaguing the US economy. It should be partially offset by tax increases on wealthy households and American businesses.

It would represent the second step in Biden’s ambitious economic program, after Congress approved a $ 1.9 billion stimulus package to provide immediate assistance to households during the pandemic.

Biden’s advisers turned to Infrastructure and education investment plans over the past few weeks, and are expected to present more detailed proposals to the president this week. People familiar with the matter said Biden had yet to approve details and nothing had been finalized.

“President Biden and his team are considering a range of potential options for investing in working families and reforming our tax code so that it rewards work, not wealth,” said Jen Psaki, press secretary at the White House. “These conversations are ongoing, so any speculation on future economic proposals is premature and does not reflect the thinking of the White House.”

Biden had previously said he wanted to present his multibillion-dollar investment program as early as February, but that goal was quickly ruled out as White House officials and lawmakers focused on passing the plan. $ 1.9 billion coronavirus stimulus.

Getting congressional approval for a new round of massive spending with slim majorities for Democrats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate may be even more difficult than for the stimulus package.

Although Republicans on Capitol Hill have often expressed interest in approving more infrastructure spending, they have opposed tax increases and other national spending initiatives.

During the presidential campaign, Biden proposed to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, as well as to increase the individual taxes of Americans earning more than $ 400,000 a year.

Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Minority Leader, tore up fledgling White House investment plans on Monday, calling them “a Trojan horse for massive tax hikes and other job-destroying leftist policies.” .

McConnell then referred to the economic policies of former President Donald Trump, saying they had worked better in the pre-pandemic era.

“Wages were rising faster at the bottom than at the top. Unemployment was at historically low levels. American workers were a hot commodity and were compensated accordingly, ”he said. “Pro-worker prosperity does not mean that big government politicians or big business bosses run all aspects of the economy in liberal fashions.”

The New York Times first reported that Biden’s economic advisers were set to present the president with a $ 3 billion investment plan this week, noting that they were considering splitting it in half. separate packages.

The first would focus on traditional infrastructure and clean energy investments, while the second would focus on investments in child care and education, including funding for universal preschool classes and free community colleges. .

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