President Joe Biden's plans to hike the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent, a key campaign promise, are likely to be one of the steep concessions he makes to shovel his economic revival package through Congress, the White House disclosed in a private meeting with top Democrats.
The proposed rate had sparked concern among small business owners who feared they could be penalized as harshly as larger corporations. The proposed rise was intended to target, despite assurances from the president that it would have no such impact.
'There is an expansive menu of options for how to finance the president's plan to ensure our economy delivers for hardworking families, and none of them are off the table,' stated White House spokesperson Andrew Bates.
Biden, his aides, and congressional leadership are racing to close a deal as soon as this week on a set of tax hikes they hope will fund more than $1.75trillion over a decade in programs ranging from childcare to elder care, affordable housing, healthcare, and climate change mitigation.
'The president knows that he's not going to get everything he wants in this package,' White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One.
'Nor will any member of Congress, probably, and that's what compromise is all about.'
The original price tag for the social spending bill stood at $3.5trillion, but it has now been hacked back to less than $2 trillion, with tuition-free community college and indefinite raises to child tax credits also on the chopping block.
Democrats seek to pass the measure in the Senate through a 'reconciliation process that requires support by only a simple majority rather than the 60 votes needed for most legislation in the evenly split 100-member chamber.President Kamala Harris holds the critical tie-breaking vote.
Biden, who framed the 2020 election against Republican then-President Donald Trump as one between working-class Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Manhattan's Park Avenue, pitched the tax hike as an effort to ensure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.
After taking office in January, Biden paired the tax hike with a mix of programs he has argued will put the United States on a more sustainable economic footing to compete with China, from universal pre-kindergarten to dental benefits for seniors and incentives to encourage a shift to low-carbon energy sources.