Biden’s $3-trillion economic plan starts with infrastructure

By Jenny LescohierMarch 23, 2021

Economic advisers to President Joe Biden are preparing a $3-trillion package to boost the economy, and it begins with an ambitious infrastructure plan that could be a shot in the arm for construction.

Reports said the plan might be financed in part through tax increases on corporations and wealthy Americans, however administration officials said details are in flux.

Republicans are unlikely to support the proposed tax increases, so Democrats would need to pass major parts of the package using a special parliamentary tactic called reconciliation (used to pass the latest Covid-19 relief bill) which requires only 51 votes to pass in the Senate, rather than 60.

Biden’s team is expected to present the spending proposal to the president and congressional leaders this week, as well as begin outreach to industry and labor groups. The president’s national climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, discussed his infrastructure plans — and their role in combating climate change — in a meeting with oil and gas industry executives on March 22.

During his campaign, Biden described his economic plan “build back better” as an attempt to create a more prosperous, equal and sustainable economy centered on a comprehensive infrastructure package. 

“The Build Back Better plan will make historic investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy,” Biden said, pointing to a need for “investments in a care-giving economy with skills and training needed by our workers to be able to compete and win in a global economy.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter that Biden would not unveil a proposal this week but that the “focus will be on jobs and making life better for Americans. He is considering a range of options, scopes and sizes of plans and will discuss with his policy team in days ahead, but speculation is premature.” 

Reports said Biden’s team plans to recommend that the $3-trillion package be broken into pieces, with infrastructure at the forefront. This approach might be more appealing to Republicans, business leaders and many moderate Senate Democrats, given the longstanding bipartisan push in Washington for an infrastructure bill.

USA
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