Democrats are beginning to fight with themselves over Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s $2.5 trillion “infrastructure” plan.
Buttigieg has been the point man on selling the proposal, which has redefined “infrastructure” to include just about everything. But now, the broad plan is beginning to hit some potholes in the Democrat caucus.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY) told the Washington Post he will oppose the package if it does not include a repeal on State and Local Tax (SALT) limitations.
“We urge you to address the $10,000 cap President Trump placed on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction, which has hurt our constituents and people across the country since long before the COVID-19 [coronavirus] pandemic began,” a group of 41 Democrats wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Breitbart News reported last week.
“The removal of this arbitrary cap is necessary and prudent as we seek remedies to help the American people during this time of recovery.”
The group lamented the “enactment of the SALT cap specifically targeted states and localities that have chosen to provide strong taxpayer support for critical government services such as education, health care, transit, and social services.”
“No SALT, no deal,” Suozzi told the paper plainly.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) would like to “add money for biofuel infrastructure, which would help her state,” the Post said.
“I am hoping this was an oversight and that they will support it,” Axne said.
More from the paper:
Business lobbyists, meanwhile, are privately urging the White House to drop the $400 billion home- and elder-care provisions to cut the bill’s cost and the corporate tax hikes needed to fund it. “The home-care provisions have been heavily attacked and are just vulnerable right now,” admitted one White House adviser, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.
Bill Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, told Marketplace it was “unusual” to include home care in an infrastructure plan.
“As a matter of policy coming out of the White House, this is not a surprise, just simply the vehicle in which it’s contained at the moment,” he said.
Democrats are looking to push the proposal through Congress via reconciliation, a procedure that is not subject to the filibuster in the Senate. But the parliamentarian has stymied that, to the frustration of Democrats who would prefer not to negotiate with Republicans, despite razor-thin majorities.
“Reconciliation is not the answer for many of the things in Build Back Better,” U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) told the Post. “There are myriad things you can’t do in reconciliation.”
Another option is to separate the various proposals and pass them individually.
“If we can move them as individual bills, let’s do that,” U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) said. “If they need to be put into a package, whatever works.”
“The White House says it wants a bipartisan deal, but Democrats are preparing to move ahead alone if necessary,” according to the paper.