Some Republicans, Including Romney, Crafting Alternate Infrastructure Plan

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) questions Xavier Becerra, nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on February 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. Becerra was previously the Attorney General of California. (Photo by Leigh Vogel-Pool/Getty Images)
Leigh Vogel-Pool/Getty Images

Some Republicans, including Sen. Mitt Romney (UT), are working on their own alternative to President Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which will be less than half of the size and reportedly focus primarily on infrastructure, unlike the president’s proposal, which includes a slew of left-wing initiatives unrelated to traditional infrastructure projects.

The group includes ten Republicans, including Sens. Romney, Bill Cassidy (LA), and Shelley Moore Capito (WV). While Romney said they are currently in the “early stages,” they hope to create a bridge with moderate Democrats in the proposal which is expected to range between $600 to $800 billion, although the Utah senator said $800 billion tends to be on the high side of the forthcoming Republican proposal:

As the Washington Post reported:

Capito explained that most of the money would go towards roads and bridges and not items many Republicans allege are unrelated to infrastructure. And she joined Republicans in blasting Biden’s proposed tax increases as a nonstarter for the GOP, echoing the staunch opposition earlier this week from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Romney later said the $800 billion price tag may be “a little high,” though he said the proposal is likely to include funding for highways, railways, airports, water and sewer systems and internet connectivity. The GOP lawmaker said he hopes to finance it through fees on the users of those services, a category of revenue-raisers that could include higher payments on drivers of gas-powered or electric vehicles. Democrats largely have resisted the idea, fearing it may encroach on Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on Americans who make under $400,000 per year.
Preliminary reports estimated only $650 billion of Biden’s $2 trillion plan going toward traditional infrastructure projects, such as funding roads and bridges, as it focuses on other initiatives, such as changing zoning laws to diversify neighborhoods across the country.
The proposal comes as moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin (WV) indicated they would not support Biden’s proposal as it currently exists, as several Democrats do not support hiking the corporate tax rate to 28 percent.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), meanwhile, has referred to the proposal as a “Trojan horse.”

“It’s called infrastructure, but inside the Trojan horse, it’s going to be more borrowed money and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy,” he warned.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) has since put forward a wishlist of items they hope will be included in Biden’s proposal, including mass amnesty and climate change initiatives.

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