Press secretary Jen Psaki revealed Biden intends to continue negotiations next week with Republicans led by Sen. Shelley Capito (R-W.Va.) adding that the White House is open to a wide range of potential ways to pay for a bill as Republicans balk at tax hikes.
“We’re going to keep our options open to see what paths we can move forward on,” Psaki said at her daily press briefing.
Biden’s spokeswoman fielded questions at the White House as the president joined first lady Jill Biden for a bike ride near his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., where he’s celebrating his wife’s 70th birthday.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Biden told Capito during their meeting at the White House a day earlier he might be willing to take his proposed 21 percent to 28 percent corporate tax hike off the table. The hike would undo the tax cuts pushed for by former President Trump and adopted by the GOP in 2017 — and is considered a non-starter by Republicans.
In exchange, the paper reported, he’d seek the tax hike later, outside of the infrastructure package, and settle for a new, minimum corporate tax of 15 percent on global income to target profitable US corporations that pay little to nothing to the federal government annually.
Psaki twice confirmed that Biden does not have a deadline for an infrastructure deal before deciding that Democrats should attempt to ram through a bill without any Republican votes using special budget reconciliation rules.
However, she said Biden “has talked about wanting to sign a bill into law this summer.”
“We’ve seen Speaker Pelosi talk about how she wants to move forward with infrastructure in June, we’ve seen Senator — Leader Schumer talk about how he wants to move forward with infrastructure in July. Those are some realities in the timeline,” she added.
“But the president is not, we’re not here to set new deadlines. We’re going to continue those conversations.”
On Wednesday, Biden met in the Oval Office with Capito to discuss negotiations, including how to structure revenue increases to raise the funds. Biden and Capito intend to speak again Friday.
Biden proposed a $2.3 trillion plan in March. But Republicans led by Capito last week presented a $928 billion counter offer after Biden came down to $1.7 trillion.
Some Democrats want to blast Biden’s large original package through Congress without any Republican votes using budget reconciliation.
Budget reconciliation allows Democrats, who control the evenly divided Senate, to avoid the usual 60-vote threshold for bills in the upper chamber.
Republicans including Capito have said Biden himself seems more eager for a deal than his staff.
Republicans refuse to consider tax increases and want to remove social spending such as $400 billion proposed for home and community health care.