One of President Joe Biden’s economic advisers told reporters on Tuesday that although Biden is willing to “compromise” when it comes to his infrastructure bill, he will not agree to any tax increases for people earning less than $400,000 per year.
“He said, and I quoted this … compromise is inevitable. And that’s part of how Joe Biden works. I mean, he will always reach across the aisle, try to cooperate,” said Jared Bernstein, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, while outside the White House, according to The Washington Times.
“But a couple of points on this: One, if you have a different pay-for, bring it to the table, but it can’t violate the $400,000 line in the sand, right?” Bernstein said. “He has consistently argued that any of the tax increases have to hold harmless people below 400K. So that’s going to be a rule he’s not going to bend on and that’s probably the right way to think about it.”
Biden previously rejected the idea of raising the tax on gas during a meeting with legislators earlier this week, and has proposed a hike in the corporate tax rate to 28% in order to raise about $2.5 trillion to offset the $2.3 trillion bill. Congressional Republicans have vowed to push back on any attempt to raise the corporate tax rate, which the GOP tax bill in 2017 lowered from 35% to 21%.
“It would be an almost impossible sell from the president to come to a bipartisan agreement that included the undoing of that [law]. I did tell him that,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who attended the meeting with Biden and other lawmakers. “He disagrees.”
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, added that raising the corporate tax rate could cause some companies to relocate outside the United States.
“But I’d rather consider settings where people who are getting the benefit are paying for the benefit,” he said. “User fees, gas tax, those kinds of things. If we’re going to be providing a benefit to a particular segment of our society, then that would make sense to consider.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that Biden isn’t looking to fund the bill “on the backs of the American people.”
She added, “He’s certainly eager to hear ideas from Democrats and Republicans on alternatives.”
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