WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden traveled on Thursday to Cleveland to promote his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal while Senate Republicans released a $928 billion counteroffer.
They reduced the investment in broadband infrastructure to $65 billion. They were willing to agree on $506 billion for roads, bridges, and other construction projects.
“We have stayed within the boundaries of our original plan,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, of West Virginia.
Republicans did not support Biden’s plan to address the shortage of affordable housing, climate change, and improving care for seniors. They did include investments in airports, roads, and waterways.
Republicans also proposed user fees such as tolls and a dip into unspent COVID relief funds to pay for the bill. Biden wants a 7% increase on the corporate tax rate from 21%.
“Just start paying your fair share — just a little bit,” Biden said in a message to corporations during an event in Cleveland.
As negotiations continue before Congress returns on June 7, Biden plans to meet with Senate Republicans next week. U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said the talks are hopeful.
“I think we just need to continue those,” Walsh said, adding he is optimistic about the outcome.
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Torres contributed to this report from Miami.