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Republicans unveil $568 bil infrastructure package to counter Biden

45 Comments
By David Morgan

U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday proposed a $568 billion, five-year infrastructure package as a counteroffer to President Joe Biden's sweeping $2.3 trillion plan, calling their measure a good-faith effort toward bipartisan negotiations.

The proposal, which falls below even the range of $600 billion to $800 billion that Republicans floated earlier in the week, focuses narrowly on traditional infrastructure projects and broadband access.

It drew a mixed response from Democrats, who narrowly control both chambers of Congress. Some Democrats dismissed it as inadequate to the task of repairing America's infrastructure and reliant on user fees that would penalize working people.

The Republican plan would not result in higher taxes but be fully paid for with user fees on electric vehicles and other items, unspent federal funds and possible contributions from state and local governments.

"This is the largest infrastructure investment that Republicans have come forward with," said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who has helped lead the effort as top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

"We see this as an offer that's on the table and deserves a response," the West Virginia lawmaker told a news conference.

Republicans sent the proposal to Biden on Thursday, before unveiling the package, which represents less than one-quarter of the Democratic president's plan.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had no immediate comment on the Republican proposal, but told reporters: "Any infrastructure proposal has to be green and cannot be paid for on the backs of working people."

Biden, who asked Republicans this week to offer a counterproposal by mid-May, proposed an infrastructure plan that includes not only traditional infrastructure projects but seeks to alter the course of the U.S. economy by addressing climate change and expanding human services such as care of the elderly.

Republicans have opposed the size and scope of the Biden proposal, as well as its plan to pay for spending by raising taxes on U.S. corporations.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the new proposal "has the potential to be a reasonable and bipartisan alternative and we're hoping that Democrats are interested in doing something along those lines."

TWO-TRACK APPROACH

But it could also form the basis of a two-track infrastructure process that would include a smaller bipartisan bill and a larger measure that Democrats could move through Congress without Republican votes.

"It's a starting point," said Senator Joe Manchin, who has insisted that Democrats work with Republicans on infrastructure. "I'm sure that we can find a compromise."

Manchin, a moderate Democrat from heavily Republican West Virginia, is a critical swing vote in the Senate.

Biden has proposed $650 billion for roads, rail and transport, but that portion of his plan also includes a $174 billion investment in electric vehicles that is absent from the Republican framework.

Republicans would spend $299 billion on roads and bridges,$65 billion on broadband, $61 billion on public transit systems,$44 billion in airports, $35 billion on drinking water and wastewater systems, $20 billion on rail, $17 billion on ports and inland waterways, $14 billion on water storage and $13 billion on transportation and pipeline safety.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey said state and local governments that are flush with tax revenues and COVID-19 relief funding could also be asked to help pay for infrastructure projects.

Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress could need Republican support to get infrastructure through the Senate and House of Representatives.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

45 Comments

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Republicans sent the proposal to Biden on Thursday, before unveiling the package, which represents less than one-quarter of the Democratic president's plan.

This republicans are sooooo pathetic.. As always..

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Republicans are ridiculous.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Death is coming to the GOP, but first must come (higher) taxes, as high as necessary to fix the broke of the past 40 years of plutocratic partying of the few at the expense of the many.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I hope it's better than Trump's plan:

People are climbing over Trump’s $15 billion border wall with $5 ladders

(news source)

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Biden has proposed $650 billion for roads, rail and transport, but that portion of his plan also includes a $174 billion investment in electric vehicles that is absent from the Republican framework.

The GOP dinosaurs at it again, the wold moves forward, these brainless bigots move backwards!!!!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Republicans unveil $568 bil infrastructure package to counter Biden

Just double that number and it will roughly equal the free tax giveaway the GOP gave to corporations and the top 5% of Americans with their new tax bill, adding to the deficit and debt.

You can see where their priorities are.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Republicans unveil $568 bil infrastructure package to counter Biden

That cost represents the same amount of actual infrastructure in Biden’s plan minus the reparations and social justice baloney.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

It's strange that the Republicans are finally moving now on this project when they didn't do a damn thing during the last 4 years under Trump. Why is that?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

reliant on user fees that would penalize working people.

As opposed to being reliant on taxes paid by... who? Non-users? Santa? The tooth fairy?

What is wrong with working people paying for stuff they use?

If not the working age folks that are users, are American kids and retirees going to foot the bill instead? The non-users?

(Well I guess the kids will foot the bill, once they are grown up and working since the alternative proposals seem to be predicated on more debt)

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Republicans are ridiculous

Because they want the money to go to actual infrastructure? How so? According to Democrats infrastructure can be anything you want it to be, just use your imagination.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

free tax giveaway the GOP gave to corporations and the top 5% of Americans with their new tax bill, adding to the deficit and debt.

According to the top hit for a tax revenues search on Google:

FY 2016 $3.27 trillion

FY 2019 $3.46 trillion (actual)

To the extent that the deficit and debt rose by trillions recently, it clearly wasn’t because of this “free tax giveaway” you talk of.

Tax revenues didn’t decline in the wake of the tax reform.

https://www.thebalance.com/current-u-s-federal-government-tax-revenue-3305762

Although I gather the unemployment hit a low of 3.5%, prior to Trump’s terrible messaging over the coronavirus pandemic in his election year.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

During the republican Trump's term, they spent $7 trillion and Trump had a $5 trillion covid package.

14% unemployment rate under Trump.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

14% unemployment rate under Trump

Wait until we get back to normal and the dust settles and Biden constrained economic policies kick in, not to mention the businesses that are permanently closed, what that number surpass 14%

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

zichi, I don’t think the US would still be at 3.5% unemployment if only Hilary or Joe had been in charge during the pandemic.... (Who knows if unemployment would have even been so low in the first place).

Forget about presidents, focus on policies. And the pandemic spending package last year was bipartisan, as I recall...just sayin

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

fxgai: To the extent that the deficit and debt rose by trillions recently, it clearly wasn’t because of this “free tax giveaway” you talk of.

The total cost of the tax cuts is described over a 10-year period, not between 2017 and now.

Tax revenues didn’t decline in the wake of the tax reform.

I didn't make that point, but even if I had, it would take a serious deep dive into the numbers to break out where it increased and decreased to get the net positive number.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Repubs: $1.9 trillion unfunded tax break for the Top 1% = Good....

Repubs: $1.9 trillion stimulus bill helping the poor and middle class = Bad....

Repubs: $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill to improve our competitiveness and create new middle and entry-level jobs = Bad...

It's pretty easy to tell whose back pocket the Repubs are in...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If not the working age folks that are users, are American kids and retirees going to foot the bill instead? The non-users?

How about the filthy rich? Tax them. Make them actually pay what they're supposed to. According to the IRS more than a trillion dollars in taxes go uncollected every year.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

unspent federal funds?

What are those?

The US has had an annual budget deficit since Clinton in 1998 .... let me check that. Yep.

The US has over $27T (trillion!!!!!!) in national debt.

It was about $3.3T in 1990, grew 2.3% to $5.8T the first year of GW Bush. It was $5.6T the prior year.

Obama and Trump grew the National Debt like nobody before them.

Obama inherited the Sub-Prime financial problems, but huge govt programs like the ACA didn't help. It was over $19.5T when he left office - up about $8T in 8 yrs.

Trump added $9T in 4 yrs for a truly despicable fiscal policy.

Due to the pandemic, I'm not going to blame 2020 or 2021 deficits. They are necessary. People need to get back to work and keeping them fed, in their homes until the pandemic is under control in the US is mandatory, not optional.

In short, there is plenty of blame to go around, but I'd put most on the Republicans not being fiscally responsible. There is a believe that govts can't save out of deficits, that only growth can prevent them. I'd say you don't give $20 to a drunken sailor on shore leave, expecting it to be in his pocket later.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Repubs: $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill to improve our competitiveness and create new middle and entry-level jobs = Bad...

It's pretty easy to tell whose back pocket the Repubs are in..

So how’s the infrastructure been lately on the East Coast over the last 20 years now? The Dems have done what for their crumbling roads on the local level what exactly?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

American kids and retirees going to foot the bill instead?

If the debt is put to good use. Live in Japan? Like those great train systems? I do. It's safer from car crashes (less hospital bills) and crushing car loan debt (cars are just too expensive now) and that is one thing big American cities lack. If that debt is used for more public transportation it can be used for not only our lifetime but generations and generations forward - so people have less pressure, live safely, and less living expenses (including your great great grandchildren). Trump people just want to build walls (so useless that you just need 5 dollar ladders to go over them as mentioned above).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Repubs: $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill to improve our competitiveness and create new middle and entry-level jobs = Bad...

It's pretty easy to tell whose back pocket the Repubs are in..

So how’s the infrastructure been lately on the East Coast over the last 20 years now? The Dems have done what for their crumbling roads on the local level what exactly?

I guess you've never drove through central Kentucky - home of your hero McConnell- or that great red state Mississippi...

And what about that electrical infrastructure in Texas? Even Ted Cruz prefers Cancun's...

But don't deflect - Repubs handed the Top 1% $1.9 trillion in UNFUNDED permanent tax breaks...but now oppose a bill that would increase our competitiveness with China and create more jobs.... Hmmmm....

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And what about that electrical infrastructure in Texas? Even Ted Cruz prefers Cancun's...

Texas people would rather die than have "socialized Hillary power utility"

Cruz and Trump took you for a ride Trump people!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I guess you've never drove through central Kentucky - home of your hero McConnell- or that great red state Mississippi...

I guess you never drove through the streets of NYC either.

And what about that electrical infrastructure in Texas? Even Ted Cruz prefers Cancun's...

This is what happens when you listen to your Democrat colleagues and the Chinese that windmills are the way.

But don't deflect - Repubs handed the Top 1% $1.9 trillion in UNFUNDED permanent tax breaks...but now oppose a bill that would increase our competitiveness with China and create more jobs.... Hmmmm....

I keep forgetting, giving incentives to people, lowering the corporate tax rate and allowing the business creators to grow their businesses and provide employment for their communities is so bad. Yes, let’s punish them and in the meanwhile, Florida continues to build more homes. Freedom is great.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

This is what happens when you listen to your Democrat colleagues and the Chinese that windmills are the way.

What do windmills have to do with the Texas major power outage? It has nothing to do with what happened in Texas. It was the Trump people who wanted "freedom" from a socialized power grid and didn't want to follow guidelines and regulations. The Trump people in Texas created the power catastrophe there.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is what happens when you listen to your Democrat colleagues and the Chinese that windmills are the way.

WRONG!

Although Republican officials[12] including governor Greg Abbott[13] initially blamed the outages on frozen wind turbines and solar panels, inadequately winterized natural gas equipment was the primary cause.[14][15] Also, Texas had isolated its power grid from the two major national grids in an effort to avoid federal oversight and deregulate its energy sector, making it difficult for the state to import electricity from other states.[16]

(Wikipedia)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The total cost of the tax cuts is described over a 10-year period, not between 2017 and now.

Exactly, and tax revenues were higher after the tax reform, as it was.

The whole point of the tax reform was to boost growth and this jobs, because with more growth and thus jobs, tax revenues tend to rise.

Tax revenues didn’t decline in the wake of the tax reform.

I didn't make that point, but even if I had, it would take a serious deep dive into the numbers

Well you just look at the numbers I posted from a hit on Google and you can see that tax revenues were up despite this “free tax giveaway” that you wrote of.

No need to spin it! The tax revenues are up!!

More growth and more people working and earning leads to higher tax revenues, pretty straightforward if you ask me

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If the debt is put to good use. Live in Japan? Like those great train systems?

Well I think the new linear motor car thing is a total waddle of money, I doubt it would stand up to a basic cost-benefit analysis and it’s been under construction for as long as I remember being in Japan which is quite a while.

And I do as a user pay for riding trains, and pay tolls when I use the highways. And recently I don’t pay since coronavirus keeps me at home. Glad to be able to save the transport money when I’m not using any.

But to your point, debt if spent on actual infrastructure that brings actual benefits in future may well pay for itself in time.

But I think this story is about how much proposed spending is actually of that nature... 2.x trillion dollars versus 600 billion, hmm ok so what is the difference... seems to me like the administration is calling it infrastructure but wants to do a lot of other spending projects under the same banner.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Wait until we get back to normal and the dust settles and Biden constrained economic policies kick in, not to mention the businesses that are permanently closed, what that number surpass 14%

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon says the post-lockdown economic boom has "absolutely" begun.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/jp-morgan-ceo-jamie-dimon-on-economy-post-covid-133608357.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bass: lowering the corporate tax rate and allowing the business creators to grow their businesses and provide employment

Sounds good in theory, but that's not how corporate America works. The bulk of the money was used for stock buybacks, not capital investment or job creation.

It's known, and it's been known for a long time, and they knew it would happen again with this tax break.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

fxgai: Well you just look at the numbers I posted from a hit on Google

I did. I just don't understand how I'm involved in this conversation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

UNFUNDED permanent tax breaks

What is an “unfunded” tax break?

Taxes aren’t funded. Taxes are when you collect revenues.

You spend revenues, so spending needs funding.

You collect taxes, which then can be spent.

You don’t fund not taking tax in the first place.

And as the last tax reform package showed again, you can cut tax rates and still end up with more revenues. People here at JT have often noted that consumption would get a boost if consumption tax were lowered. And they are right. (But the government here spends more crazy than the US.)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Well I think the new linear motor car thing is a total waddle of money, I doubt it would stand up to a basic cost-benefit analysis and it’s been under construction for as long as I remember being in Japan which is quite a while.

The shinkansen infrastructure roadmap is over 100 years and Japanese people don't really complain about it. They are planning parts of it that we won't see in our lifetimes. The problem is too many Americans are brainwashed to think that trains (including fast ones) are a bad solution and continue to get fat from now walking and accumulate car debts (also medical debts from terrible car accidents which are up a lot recently)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon says the post-lockdown economic boom has "absolutely" begun.

To be fair, Dimon has been caught numerous times posting blatant lies on internet message boards.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I guess you've never drove through central Kentucky - home of your hero McConnell- or that great red state Mississippi...

I guess you never drove through the streets of NYC either.

Sure have - they are better than Kentucky....

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2019/03/13/kentucky-counties-dominate-worst-places-to-live-list/3151985002/

And what about that electrical infrastructure in Texas? Even Ted Cruz prefers Cancun's...

This is what happens when you listen to your Democrat colleagues and the Chinese that windmills are the way.

The Chinese and windmills chased Ted Cruz out of Texas to Cancun? Well, that's a new one. And the Texas electric utility (ERCOT) said the gas lines froze - they weren't insulated. As the old song goes, the windmills of your mind...

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16/texas-wind-turbines-frozen/

But don't deflect - Repubs handed the Top 1% $1.9 trillion in UNFUNDED permanent tax breaks...but now oppose a bill that would increase our competitiveness with China and create more jobs.... Hmmmm....

I keep forgetting, giving incentives to people, lowering the corporate tax rate and allowing the business creators to grow their businesses and provide employment for their communities is so bad. Yes, let’s punish them and in the meanwhile, Florida continues to build more homes. Freedom is great.

I guess you also forgot that Trump's GDP was never more than 3%; 2017: 2.3%, 2018: 3%, 2019: 2.2%, 2020: -3.5....

Pitiful...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The bulk of the money was used for stock buybacks, not capital investment or job creation.

That's not what the job markets reflected over the last 4 years until the virus from China was unleashed.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Sure have - they are better than Kentucky....

Not really...

https://nypost.com/2021/03/13/stimulus-potholes-aplenty-thanks-to-infrastructure-red-ink-from-democrats/

The Chinese and windmills chased Ted Cruz out of Texas to Cancun? Well, that's a new one. And the Texas electric utility (ERCOT) said the gas lines froze - they weren't insulated. As the old song goes, the windmills of your mind...

https://www.ft.com/content/ee272395-2ea7-4175-bb19-996111f5a499

“Some of those proposals do nothing to address the root causes of the power outages but they are designed, self-evidently, to create commercial challenges for renewable energy projects,” said APA president Jeff Clark. Biden has pledged to remove carbon from electricity production by 2035. Through federal energy policy, environmental regulations, research funding and subsidies, the US government can prod the electricity sector towards that goal. But electric utilities are regulated mainly by states, not Washington, leaving much of the future US energy mix in the hands of state lawmakers. 

I guess you also forgot that Trump's GDP was never more than 3%; 2017: 2.3%, 2018: 3%, 2019: 2.2%, 2020: -3.5....

What are you talking about? LOL

The unemployment rate fell from 4.7% shortly after Trump’s election to 3.5% by the end of 2019, below Federal Reserve expectations of about 4.5%. That was partly driven by Trump’s corporate and individual income-tax cuts and a February 2018 bill that reset spending caps Republicans had demanded in the Obama era. 

-WSJ

Pitiful...

For Democrats, it was.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

That's not what the job markets reflected over the last 4 years until the virus from China was unleashed.

That's just an excuse. The next virus might be from all those American meat factories. Trump was so terrible with the blame game that he lost all parts of the government to the Dems. Remember the Republicans completely lost because of Trump and his gross behavior.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Republican Senator Pat Toomey said state and local governments that are flush with tax revenues and COVID-19 relief funding could also be asked to help pay for infrastructure projects.

Would I be wrong to assume he means mostly democrat controlled states?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bass: That's not what the job markets reflected 

Small business (SMBs) creates a vast majority of jobs in the US, not corporations who received a massive tax cut.

Try making something else up. It's good to educate others who read our conversations even if you personally learn nothing. Net positive.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

$1 trillion is barely a start. It will take $4 trillion. Or what America has spent on the forever middle east wars that produced... nothing.

https://money.cnn.com/2017/03/09/news/infrastructure-report-card/index.html

Civil engineers say fixing infrastructure will take $4.6 trillion

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sure have - they are better than Kentucky....

Not really...

Ten of the Top 25 poorest and worst counties in the US are all in Kentucky....and how long has McConnell been in Washington representing them? Care to explain that?

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2019/03/13/kentucky-counties-dominate-worst-places-to-live-list/3151985002/

The Chinese and windmills chased Ted Cruz out of Texas to Cancun? Well, that's a new one. And the Texas electric utility (ERCOT) said the gas lines froze - they weren't insulated. As the old song goes, the windmills of your mind...

“Some of those proposals do nothing to address the root causes of the power outages but they are designed, self-evidently, to create commercial challenges for renewable energy projects,” said APA president Jeff Clark. 

You said the Texas outage was caused by "the Chinese and windmills" - the Texas electric utility said wind provides only 18% of the grid and the major factor in the outage was gas lines freezing. Want to apologize for your error now?

I guess you also forgot that Trump's GDP was never more than 3%; 2017: 2.3%, 2018: 3%, 2019: 2.2%, 2020: -3.5....

What are you talking about? LOL

Uh, stats from Trump's own Dept of Commerce when he was President...

Pitiful...

For Democrats, it was.

Newsflash: Dems won the WH, Senate and kept the House in 2020. Guess you think pitiful is "winning"....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ten of the Top 25 poorest and worst counties in the US are all in Kentucky....and how long has McConnell been in Washington representing them? Care to explain that?

Interesting, the 3 worst road conditions are in California alone, but why, they have money.

https://www.teletracnavman.com/resources/resource-library/infographics/worst-maintained-roads-infographic

You said the Texas outage was caused by "the Chinese and windmills" - the Texas electric utility said wind provides only 18% of the grid and the major factor in the outage was gas lines freezing.

18% being electric that froze and the gas and oil backup system as replaced in favor of the electric system and this is the result

Want to apologize for your error now?

If there were, I would, but seeing that Texas got duped on that critical point....

Uh, stats from Trump's own Dept of Commerce when he was President...

So we need to go by the liberal stats? lol

Newsflash: Dems won the WH, Senate and kept the House in 2020.

Well, that should come to an end by 2022 at this rate, keep it up, House is looking better and better for the GOP with each passing day

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Texas got duped...

...by the Trump people. Exactly, Windmills or the Chinese didn't do this. No other state has this grid problem, even in the cold north. Why do Trump people keep thinking it was the Hillary Democrats who did this. The Texas Electric grid was due to Texas Trump policies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ten of the Top 25 poorest and worst counties in the US are all in Kentucky....and how long has McConnell been in Washington representing them? Care to explain that?

Interesting, the 3 worst road conditions are in California alone, but why, they have money.

Once more, what's up with Mitch - over 30 years in DC and 10 Kentucky counties out of 25 in US are still the poorest and worst? Explain that...

You said the Texas outage was caused by "the Chinese and windmills" - the Texas electric utility said wind provides only 18% of the grid and the major factor in the outage was gas lines freezing.

18% being electric that froze and the gas and oil backup system as replaced in favor of the electric system and this is the result

No. A majority of grid is powered by gas and the lines froze because they weren't insulated. That's what the utility said. You blamed it on windmills. Again, going to apologize for being wrong?

Uh, stats from Trump's own Dept of Commerce when he was President...

So we need to go by the liberal stats? lol

Stats from Trump's Dept of Commerce during his term. Guess you think Trump is a Liberal.....OK.

Newsflash: Dems won the WH, Senate and kept the House in 2020.

Well, that should come to an end by 2022 at this rate, keep it up, House is looking better and better for the GOP with each passing day

And you were so accurate predicting Georgia would stay red. Anyway, Dems won, Repubs lost. Pretty easy to tell who is "pitiful"...just ask Trump, McConnell, and McCarthy...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once more, what's up with Mitch

Nothing wrong with Mitch. He's just doing his job. Kentucky which is not exactly one of the sharpest pencils in the bunch elected him and he is just carrying out their political wishes. It's the voters. Or more specifically it's the lazy ones who didn't elect sensible people (they didn't vote at all)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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