March 7 (UPI) — Democratic Party senators on Wednesday unveiled an infrastructure plan worth more than $1 trillion — a response to President Donald Trump’s proposal — largely financed by rolling back parts of the Republican tax bill.
The proposal calls for over $1 trillion to be directed to a range of infrastructure requirements. Repair and replacement of roads and bridges will account for $140 billion; $115 billion for water and sewers; and $50 billion to rebuild schools.
The plan’s funding would come from reversing key parts from Republicans’ tax overhaul legislation.
Under the Democratic plan, a top income tax rate of 39.6 percent would be restored with the individual alternative minimum tax. It would also reverse cuts to the estate tax, raise the corporate income tax from 21 percent to 25 percent and close the “carried interest” loophole that benefits some money managers.
While the proposal’s future is uncertain in a Republican-controlled Congress, it stands as an alternative to Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, which depends heavily on state and private investment.
The Democrats’ plan was unveiled at a news conference Wednesday led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Speaking to reporters, he portrayed the plan as a different approach to spending on the U.S. infrastructure.
“The plan [by congressional Republicans] just doesn’t come close to what America needs,” Schumer said. “Robbing Peter to pay Paul a pittance won’t do nearly enough to rebuild our infrastructure.”
Schumer was joined by Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Maria Cantwell of Washington and Bill Nelson of Florida.
At Wednesday’s unveiling, each spoke briefly about the impact the infrastructure would have on his or her state. Cantwell said improved cybersecurity is one benefit of the plan, which includes $40 billion for high-speed Internet connection and $80 billion to upgrade the U.S. energy grid.